Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Rachel Stocker

Research Associate


I am a health services researcher with particular research interests in chronic and/or life-limiting conditions (particularly heart failure and diabetes), ageing and the wellbeing of older adults, palliative and end of life care, the boundary of NHS and social care, and experiences/outcomes for patients, families, and staff.

I use a variety of methodologies, primarily qualitative, and have interest in mixed methodologies. I'm also experienced in systematic reviewing.

I have experience of involving patients and the public in research at all stages of the research cycle, including idea generation, design, analysis, and publication/dissemination. I have also published a policy and research-based briefing on palliative and end of life care for Parliament, influencing Government and wider policy agendas.

More recently my work has focused on the Gateshead Care Home Vanguard programme, and an NIHR HS&DR funded mixed-methods study exploring the organisation of GP care in care homes.


Doctor of Philosophy, Durham University

Masters in Health Psychology, Teesside University

Bachelor of Science (2:1), Psychology with Criminology, Leeds Beckett University

Previous positions

Health Research Methodologist, NIHR Research Design Service, Durham University

BPS/POST Fellow, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, Houses of Parliament, Westminster

Tutor (Qualitative and Quantitative Health Research Methods), Durham University

Module Leader (Promoting Health, Preventing Illness), Teesside University

Visiting Lecturer (Exercise Psychology I, II, Research Methods), Sunderland University

Research Assistant, University of Leeds

Honorary Assistant Psychologist / Research Assistant, Tees, Esk, and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust & South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


I completed my PhD at Durham in June 2014, with a thesis entitled “Experiences and perceptions of the role of palliative and end of life care in heart failure: A modified grounded theory study”.

Close to the end of my PhD I also undertook a three month fellowship, funded by the British Psychological Society, at the Houses of Parliament, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). I researched and produced briefing materials on palliative and end of life care, for use by parliamentarians and available to the general public. This parliamentary briefing can be downloaded here: .