Gabrielle Thorpe


  • 1.13 Edith Cavell Building

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile


Gabby is an Associate Professor in the UEA School of Health Sciences, where she has worked since 2009. She trained as an adult nurse at St Bartholomew’s School of Nursing and Midwifery in London 1992-1995 and immediately established a strong clinical interest in colorectal and stoma care, fostered by working at St Mark’s Hospital and the National Centre for Bowel Research and Surgical Innovation at The Royal London Hospital. Gabby was appointed in 1997 as Clinical Nurse Specialist in Stoma Care at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, in which capacity she continued to work on an honorary contract until March 2020. 

As a natural extension of her clinical and academic interest in colorectal and stoma care nursing, Gabby was East Anglian Chapter Representative (2013-2023) and Chair of the Association of Coloproctology Nurses (2019-2023), as well as nurse representative on the ACPGBI Research & Audit Committee (2014-2023); she sat on the World Council of Enterostomal Therapists Education Committee from 2021 to 2023. She currently sits on the Bowel Research UK Research Grants and PPI Committees and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Colorectal Disease. Gabby is module organiser for a 40-credit, online, level 7 module in Advanced Stoma Care, which was awarded the Association of Stoma Care Nurses (UK) Chair's Award for Innovation in 2019 and is supported by the Ileostomy Association (through five funded places for stoma care specialist nurses per year).

Gabby is Head of Department for Post-Qualifying Programmes in the School of Health Sciences at UEA.

Key Research Interests

Improving care for people undergoing colorectal and/or stoma-forming surgery is at the heart of Gabby’s research interests. Her MSc and PhD research explored the experience of living with a stoma, focussing on the relationship between body and self, using qualitative research methods. More recently, Gabby’s research focus is to examine the complications people can experience following bowel surgery and investigating interventions and care practices that may reduce these complications. 

Gabby is also increasingly involved in researching advanced practice education and is currently funded by NHS England to undertake project work in this area.

Teaching Interests

Gabby teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, predominantly on surgical nursing, colorectal and stoma care nursing, qualitative research methods and academic skills. Having led the research component of the BSc Nursing and BSc Nursing Degree Apprenticeship programmes in the School of Health Sciences, she is now involved in supporting practitioners enrolled onto the advanced practice programmes at UEA to develop their research pillar of practice and to recognise the opportunities and scope in their own practice for developing a more robust evidence-base for healthcare practice.

As Head of Department for Post-Qualifying Programmes, Gabby leads the development and governance of the entire post-registration portfolio in the School of Health Sciences, working with academics, students and healthcare organisations within and outside the region to constantly improve our educational provision for healthcare practitioners. She has a strong interest in pedagogical approaches which integrate digital and online learning and is one of the School's 'Digital Champions'.

Academic Background

Gabby has been an Associate Professor since 2021, having worked as Lecturer in the UEA School of Health Sciences (formerly Nursing Sciences) since 2009, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She completed a first degree in Modern European Studies at Nottingham Trent University and another in 1999 in Nursing Practice at UEA. She has since obtained an MSc in Health Sciences, an MA in Higher Education Practice and a PhD, all from UEA. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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