Institute of Health & Society

Health and social care

Health and Social Care (including Primary Care)


The Health and Social Care Systems and Services research theme is a varied multidisciplinary group with a wide range of expertise and strong networks within Newcastle, across the UK, and internationally.

Prof Gill Rowlands (primary lead)
Dr Joanne Patterson

We are committed to impactful, high-quality research and service development on the health and social care needs of communities, patients, and service users locally, nationally, and around the world, as well as supporting the development of evidence-based health and social care practice.

Our research areas of focus include:

  • quality of care, patient experience, person-centred care, and shared decision-making
  • improving health, equality, and equity

We also have strong methods expertise in implementation science, impact measurement, and patient and public involvement.

We work closely with the other research themes in the Institute, currently with particularly active links to Children and Families, Improving Public Health, and Social Determinants and Health Inequalities.



As a theme we are committed to ensuring that our research has relevance to those it impacts on, that it is informed by all stakeholders, that it maximises uptake, and thus that it has genuine societal and economic benefits.

This is achieved through a range of activities, including targeted public consultation and dissemination events, working in partnership with local voluntary, community, and social enterprise groups, and dissemination at regional, national and international academic conferences. Patient, service user, and public involvement is key at all stages of the research process. We work closely with Public Health England, the primary care clinical community, and policy makers on key theme activities such as cancer, health literacy, and HIV. Co-production and co-design with service users and clinicians is central to all our activities


We are committed to addressing the health and social care needs of local communities, patient and service-user groups, as well as understanding the needs of service providers and the organisation of service provision. We engage with the local health and social care services, Public Health England, and cancer alliances.


We have links and active work in Europe, Africa, Latin America, Australia & North America. Key areas of engagement are in the areas of HIV, cancer, and health literacy policy and practice.

In Malawi we are exploring gender specific barriers to accessing HIV and sexual reproductive health service by young people living with and at risk of contracting HIV. The aim is to develop interventions that will contribute to achieving gender equitable access to health services.

Work with European partners is on understanding the geographical spread, and breadth of activity, in health literacy policy in Europe, with a view to supporting wider uptake of, and more holistic approaches to, policy in the WHO Europe Region.

In Latin America, we are part of the EU-funded SCALA project that aims to implement and evaluate the impact of an alcohol-risk reduction programme in Columbia, Mexico and Peru.


Rashmi Bhardwaj-Gosling
Clinical Academic Fellow

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8525

Dr Matthew Breckons
Research Associate

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7585

Dr Christina Dobson
Research Associate

Telephone: 0191 208 2274

Melissa Girling
NIHR Research Fellow

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5874

Dr Susan Hrisos
Senior Research Associate

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3816

Dr Joanne Lally
Research Methodologist

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6791

Jan Lecouturier
Senior Research Associate

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 562 9

Dr Lyndsay Lindley
Research Associate

Dr Liya Lu
Research Associate

Joan Mackintosh
Research Associate

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8661

Dr Gregory Maniatopoulos
Senior Research Associate

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3936

Dr Joanne Patterson
Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer

Telephone: +44 (0)191 222 8429

Samantha Redgate
Research Associate

Telephone: 0191 208 2271

Dr Nicolette Rousseau
Senior Research Methodologist

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7162

Professor Gill Rowlands
Professor of Primary Care

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1300

Professor Linda Sharp
Professor of Cancer Epidemiology

Telephone: 0191 208 6275

Dr Sarah Sowden
NIHR/HEE ICA Clinical Lecturer and Hon Consultant in Public Health


Dr Lynne Stobbart
Senior Research Associate

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5513

Michael Sykes
NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow

Telephone: +44 (0) 0191 208 7045

Professor Richard Thomson
Strategic Research Adviser

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8760

Clare Tolley
Research Assistant

Telephone: 0191 2086471

Dr Anu Vaittinen
Research Associate


Professor Janet Wilson
Prof of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surg

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 223 1491