Roberts, Professor Helen

Dr Helen Roberts


Geriatric medicine


  • Academic geriatric medicine
  • Movement disorders and Parkinson’s

Training and education

  • Medicine with an intercalated BSc in physiology - University of Birmingham
  • PhD - University of Southampton
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London


Professor Roberts has worked as a consultant in geriatric medicine at the Trust since 1994. She has considerable experience in the clinical management of older people within acute hospital and rehabilitation healthcare settings. 

Prof Roberts runs a movement disorders service based at Romsey, Royal South Hants and Southampton General Hospitals. She leads the Wessex Parkinson’s Excellence Network, which aims to improve the quality of clinical care for people with Parkinson's across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight. 

As an academic, Prof Roberts runs a research programme which aims to improve the health and clinical care of older people and those with Parkinson’s by implementing research findings into practice. Her research interests include nutrition, physical activity, assessment of frailty and sarcopenia (muscle loss caused by ageing). Current studies include:

  • the evaluation of trained volunteers to improve the diet and mobility of older people in hospital
  • the development of fortified food items for people with poor appetite in collaboration with the University of Reading and the Southampton Biomedical Research Centre
  • the introduction of routine grip strength measurements to identify patients with frailty and sarcopenia in different healthcare settings
  • falls, personalised exercises and self-management tools for people with Parkinson’s.

Prof Roberts supervises a number of research fellows and academic clinical fellows within the academic geriatric medicine group. She leads the medicine and elderly care module for medical students in year three at the University of Southampton and leads the ageing and health field for the BMedSci degree. 

Key achievements

  • National lead for the comprehensive research network ageing specialty group since 2015
  • Lead for the ageing and dementia theme of the NIHR collaboration for leadership in applied health research and care (CLAHRC) Wessex since 2013
  • Lead for Wessex Parkinson’s Excellence Network since 2014
  • Director of South Coast Dementia and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network - 2009 to 2014
  • Member of national Parkinson’s (clinical) study group - 2010 to 2016
  • Chair of British Geriatrics Society movement disorder section - 2010 to 2012
  • Member of Parkinson’s UK's national clinical advisory group from 2012 to 2015, and national priority setting partnership from 2013 to 2015 
  • Faculty member of the national Parkinson’s academy, training consultants and registrars in the management of Parkinson’s, since 2008 


To see Prof Roberts's research interests and publications please visit her profile on the University of Southampton website.