I am medical sociologist and an experienced qualitative health researcher committed to delivering both high quality research and education and teaching. My research is concerned with understanding people's health and illness experiences throughout the lifecourse and spans a range of clinical areas. I provide a social science perspective and methodological expertise to clinical research questions, postgraduate research supervision and postgraduate and undergraduate teaching.
I am the Institute of Health and Society's Head of Excellence in Learning and Teaching.
I am a member of:
1998 PhD (Sociology) Coventry University "Living with Cancer, Living with Dying"
1993 MA Health Services Studies, University of Leeds
1992 BSc(Hons) Sociology, University of Salford
2003-2009 Lecturer in Medical Sociology, IHS, Newcastle University
1999-2003 Lecturer, Dept Epidemiology and Public Health, Leicester University
1998 -1999 Lecturer, Dept Primary Care, Birmingham University
1997 - 1998 Research Associate, Dept Primary Care, Leicester University
I have delivered and led social science teaching to undergraduate medical students in three UK Universities for over 10 years. I led the social science component of the MBBS at Newcastle from 2003 - 2009, and I remain a regular contributor to this course. I also contribute to a third year sociology degree course examining current health concerns.
I am actively involved in the design, delivery and assessment of Master level teaching and learning.
I am the module leader for the Introduction to Qualitative Methods module and contribute to Health and Society and Further Qualitative Methods modules which are part of the MSc in Public Health and Health Services Research and MSc in Social Sciences and Health Research.
I also teach qualitative methods on the MSc in Psychology (Foundations in Clinical and Health Psychology)
I supervise MSc dissertations and welcome enquiries from Masters students regarding possible projects.
I am external examiner for the MSc in Public Health, Glasgow University
My research is concerned with examining critically people's - patients and carers - experiences and decisions about health and health care, and finding ways to improve and enhance these. As a medical sociologist I work within multidisciplinary research teams, often providing qualitative methodological expertise. My work focuses on those living with chronic disease, and spans a range of clinical areas such as: palliative care, transplantation research, old age psychiatry, primary care medicine and oral health care.
Currently, I am collaborating with colleagues in the Institute of Transplantation on a number of research projects and lead the qualitative evaluation of DEVELOP-UK, led by Professor Andrew Fisher. With Prof Richard Thomson, I am leading a qualitative study to examine the decision making related to implantation and deactivation of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators. I am the co-investigator on a recently funded NIHR Programme Grant, led by Professor Louise Robinson, Supporting Excellence in End of Life care in Dementia.
I am committed to supporting postgraduate research and I have an excellent record of success.
Until 2013 I lead the North East ESRC Doctoral Training Centre's Social Science and Health Pathway.
I supervise postgraduate research students from social science, applied health research and clinical backgrounds.
Current Doctoral Supervision:
2013 - Convenor British Sociological Aassociation Applied Qualitative Health Research, Special Interest Group
2013 - Member of Irish Health Services Research Board Grant Awarding Panel
2013 – Invited panel member North East BSA Medical Sociology Group
2011 - Invited external speaker to SCHARR Seminar Series, Sheffield University
2009 - Invited key note speaker British Society Study of Prosthetic Dentistry conference, York
2009 - Invited external speaker to Leeds Dental Institute Seminar Series
2006-2010 - Member of MRC College of Experts
2003-2005 - Co-convenor British Sociological Association Medical Sociology Group
NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research - Supporting Excellence in End of Life Care in Dementia PI Prof L Robinson Co-investigator and qualitative lead
NIHR Health Services & Delivery Research Decision making about implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) and subsequent deactivation during end of life care Co-lead with Prof R Thomson
NIHR Health Technology Assessment DEVELOP UK A study of donor ex-vivo lung perfusion in UK Lung Transplantation Co-investigator and lead of qualitative workpackage PI Prof A Fisher
NIHR Doctoral Fellowship Decision Making in Laryngeal Cancer: the role of the multidisciplinary team and developing decision support Lead Supervisor with Prof JA Walker, Prof R Thomson Fellow: Mr David Hamilton
NIHR Doctoral Fellowship Engaging women in shared decision making about breech presentation at term: development, usability testing and a pilot trial of decision support and a decision quality instrument. With Prof R Thomson & Prof S Robson Fellow: Dr Beccy Say
NIHR Doctoral Fellowship Designing decision support to facilitate choice of urinary drainage procedure after cystectomy Co-supervisor with Prof R Thomson & Prof R Pickard Fellow: Dr Susie Wong