The Hip Unit has a world-renowned research department based at the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Hospital.

Sandra Wraight (Office-Systems Manager)
Sandra first started working for the NHS at the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic hospital on 5th June 1995.  In August 1997 Prof. Ling offered her a job in the Hip Research Unit – she accepted the position and  moved to the new orthopaedic centre on the Wonford site on 1st October 1997. Subsequently she has gained a few promotions and is now the office and systems manager for the Exeter Hip Research Unit. Their role is pivotal in producing the multitude of publications that come out of The Exeter Hip unit.



Rita Patrick (Data Coordinator)

Rita qualified as a nurse in 1978 and joined the Exeter Hip Team as a data coordinator in 2018.

She is responsible for coordinating and performing the data entry for follow-up review of both primary and revision hip replacements along with keeping the Non Arthroplasty Hip Surgery Register (NAHR) updated.



alison Smeatham copyAlison Smeatham, MSc. MCSP. FSOM (Extended Scope Physiotherapist)
Alison joined the Exeter Hip Team in 2009 as an Extended Scope Physiotherapist. In addition to carrying out outpatient Orthopaedic and Physiotherapy clinics, she works as a research assistant and has a special interest in patient-centred outcomes following hip replacement and also the rehabilitation of young adults with hip problems.

She qualified from the Birmingham Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in 1985 and subsequently worked in South Yorkshire before moving to work for Exeter Primary Care Trust in 2002.

In 2003 she gained an MSc in Orthopaedic Medicine from Middlesex University School of Health and Social Services with her dissertation on the use of questionnaires in predicting the need for Total Hip Replacement.

As a Fellow of the Society of Orthopaedic Medicine, Alison continues to teach on postgraduate courses around the UK. She is the co-author of a book entitled ‘Special Tests in Musculoskeletal Examination’ (Elsevier 2009).


Vicki Nadarajah, BSc (Hons), MSc Rehabilitation, MCSP 
Extended Scope Practitioner (Physiotherapist)
Vicki joined the Exeter Hip Team in 2021 and works as an Extended Scope Physiotherapist in the orthopaedic outpatient department at the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Centre as well as the Heavitree Physiotherapy Department.
Vicki qualified as a physiotherapist in 2003 and started her physiotherapy career in London. She has held specialist orthopaedic posts at University College Hospital and the Royal London Hospital and was formally the orthopaedic Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust for many years prior to relocating to the South West. She joined the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust in 2018, initially working in Primary Care.

Vicki was awarded a Masters in Rehabilitation from St George’s, University of London in 2011. Her research focused on improving patients’ functional outcomes with the implementation of an evidence-based rehabilitation programme following fractured neck of femur surgery. Her interest in research has continued post accreditation with ongoing publications in both medical and physiotherapy journals, including Age and Ageing, Acupuncture in Physiotherapy and the American Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Vicki’s clinical and research interests include: Rehabilitation following fractured neck of femur surgery, young adult hip conditions and their management, gluteal tendinopathy rehabilitation and the optimisation of orthopaedic clinical pathways.

sophSophie Kolowska, RGN, BA Honours(Hip Unit Media Manager).

Sophie qualified as a nurse and has a 1st class Honours degree in Media. Her role as Media Manager for the Hip Team has many features which include film, photography, collating and co-ordinating any publishing, ie The Exeter Book, and the Exeter Web site for the Hip Team and Stryker. She is point of contact for visiting surgeons. Also plays an active role in helping to organise the educational courses for Stryker and the Hip Team.


steve copySabrina Sokolowski, RGN Adult Nursing, BA (Hons) Perioperative Practice, PGDip Surgical Care Practitioner (Trauma & Orthopaedics) (Extended Scope Practioner)

Sabrina qualified as a nurse at the University of Hertfordshire in 2006 and went on to qualify as a Surgical Care Practitioner at the University of Plymouth in 2011, specialising in Trauma & Orthopaedics.
She has worked for the Exeter Hip Unit since 2009. Her main role being a surgical assistant to the consultants during surgery in both primary and revision hip replacements.
In addition to this, she is responsible for coordinating and performing the long term follow-up review of both primary and revision hip replacements. In 2014 she implemented ‘virtual clinics’ as an alternative method of follow up.


Dr Sarah Whitehouse,PhD (Statistician, Senior Research Fellow (Orthopaedics))

Sarah is a Senior Research Fellow and Biostatistician based with Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. Following a degree in Applied Statistics, she gained her PhD in outcomes following total joint replacement from Bristol in 2001 before emigrating to Australia and working with Professor Ross Crawford (a former Exeter Fellow and frequent collaborator with the Exeter Hip Team). She has been providing the team with research and statistical advice since 2006, with regular visits (2-3 per year) to Exeter since then to facilitate the dissemination of the on-going research the team is involved with.