Primary Care will be at heart of the future development of the UK health service

About Us

  • The Exeter Collaboration for Academic Primary Care (APEx) focusses on establishing the South West Peninsula as a national centre of excellence for primary care research and education.
  • It is built on the strong, existing clinical academic partnership between the University and all levels of the regional health service, including NHS Health Education South West (HESW), the NIHR South West Peninsula Clinical Research Network, the Academic Health Science Network and the Clinical Commissioning Groups for Devon and Cornwall.
  • APEx will also seek to form mutually beneficial relationships with emergent new providers within the healthcare sector.

A Collaboration for Research and Education

Primary Care will be at heart of the future development of the UK health service. The demand for more cost-effective and personalised medical care, led and delivered locally, will require a strong, integrated primary care sector, underpinned by high quality research and education. APEx will focus on the development of research and education, inform strategies to attract increasing numbers of medical students to future careers in Primary Care and explore innovative models of collaboration through a unique partnership between the University of Exeter and key healthcare stakeholders, across the South West Peninsula, from the regional bodies to individual general practices and patients.

 APEx seeks to develop the opportunities provided by the demographics of the South West to pursue the fundamental questions facing healthcare nationally. Of particular importance will be:

  • Establishing a research focus on the development and delivery of holistic, person-centred care that builds on existing expertise (e.g. health research including established primary care research, genomics, personalised healthcare, precision medicine)
  • Developing a focused interest in understanding, researching, and exploring new, integrated models of care which cross traditional boundaries of primary, secondary, mental health and social care.
  • Looking at new, innovative ways of delivering high quality integrated care that exploit the potential of technology, a more flexible use of the healthcare workforce and which are able to demonstrate greater cost effectiveness in a testing financial environment.
  • Establishing a continuum of education in primary care from the undergraduate to the postgraduate and the established professional.
  • Placing research and evidence at the heart of primary care education

Exeter Statement for Academic Primary Care

Forty years after the seminal Declaration of Alma Ata in support of Primary Health Care (PHC), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) supported a new Declaration of Astana, released in October 2018. 

The Exeter Collaboration for Academic Primary Care (APEx) have drafted the Exeter Statement for Academic Primary Care with a view to generating a collective vision for academic primary care in light of the new WHO Declaration of Astana.

Academic primary care (APC) aims to support primary care practice and delivery through multidisciplinary applied research, education and training. This is implicitly advocated in the Astana Declaration and our aim is to make it explicit in the Exeter Statement. In developing this Statement we have used the UK health care system as the immediate context for a declaration of intent for APC which might have a wider international reach. We used the operational and system levers from the Vision document that accompanies the Astana Declaration, to guide an internal engagement and writing process in Exeter.

In July 2019, the annual scientific meeting of the Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) had the opportunity to discuss the WHO-led PHC Declaration and Vision, along with the draft Exeter Statement for Academic Primary Care. Further comments were received via email and via Twitter (#ExeterStatement), and a related workshop held during the conference. The feedback from the APC community at SAPC was collated to enable the further refinement of the Exeter Statement ahead of its wider dissemination.

APEx envisage an audience for this document which includes the public, individuals involved in research, education and training, authorities with the oversight of PHC service delivery, and research and education funding bodies. Ongoing efforts, coordinated by the societies and organisations for APC, will be needed at both local and national levels in order to maintain momentum round this initiative. We plan to collaborate with both the SAPC and the UK Royal College of General Practitioners in the further development of the Exeter Statement, an important new opportunity for the APC community.

  1. World Health Organization. Declaration of Astana. 2018. With access 1/7/2019. Available at:
  2. Kluge H, Kelley E, Barkley S, Theodorakis PN, Yamamoto N, Tsoy A, Aiypkhanova A, Ganesh V, Hipgrave DB, Peterson SS, Valderas JM, Mossialos E. How can primary health care make universal health coverage a reality, ensure healthy lives, and promote wellbeing for all. Lancet 2018;392(10156):1372-74.
  3. Kluge H, Kelley E, Theodorakis PN, Barkley S, Valderas JM. 40 years on from Alma Ata: present and future of Primary Health Care research. Prim Care Res Develop 2018;19:421–423. doi: 10.1017/S1463423618000683
  4. World Health Organization. A vision for primary health care in the 21st century. Towards universal health coverage and the sustainable development goals. 2018. With access 1/7/2019. Available at: 
  5. World Health Organization. Operational Framework - Draft for Consultation. 2018. With access 1/7/2019. Available at:



For further information about the APEx collaboration contact Chloe Thomas (APEx Administrator)

Core Members

Member of staffPosition
Dr Gary Abel Senior Lecturer
Dima Arafah PhD student
Dr Sarah Bailey Research Fellow   
Dr Charlotte Bramwell Researcher & PhD student
Professor Nicky Britten Professor of Applied Health Care Research/PenARC Executive Lead for PPI
Dr Jo Butterworth Postgraduate research student
Dr Raff Calitri Trial Manager/Research Fellow
Professor John Campbell Director for APEx & Professor of General Practice and Primary Care
Professor Linda Clare

Professor of Clinical Psychology and Ageing and Dementia

Dr Chris Clark

Clinical Senior Lecturer in General Practice

Professor Hayes Dalal 

Honorary Clinical Associate Professor & Senior Clinical Researcher, RCHT

Antoinette Davey

Research Associate
Grace Dibben PhD Student
Professor Christopher Dickens Professor of Psychological Medicine & Honorary Consultant in Psychological Medicine
Mr Jon Evans Clinical Lecture in Trauma and Orthopaedics
Associate Professor Philip Evans  Associate Professor of General Practice & Primary Care
Emily Fletcher Research Fellow 

Dr Jaheeda Gangannagaripalli

Associate Research Fellow
Dr Mayam Gomez-Cano

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Rebekah Hall

Graduate Trainee Assistant in Health Economics

Professor David Halpin Consultant Physician and Honorary Professor
Professor Willie Hamilton  Professor of Primary Care Diagnostics
Professor Alex Harding Sub Dean, Course Director M.Clin.Ed

Professor Sallie Lamb

Mireille Gillings Professor of Health Innovation

Dr Jeff Lambert

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Primary Care

Dr Sinead McDonagh

Research Fellow

Dr Tani Martins

Research Fellow 

Dr Sam Merriel

Senior Clinical Research Fellow

Dr Luke Mounce

Research Fellow

Abdullah Mubarky

MPhil/PhD PGR Student

Dr Emma Pitchforth

Senior Lecturer & Senior Research Fellow in Primary Care

Dr Leon Poltawski

Research Fellow

Dr Ian Porter 

Associate Research Fellow

Dr Sarah Price 

Research Fellow

Dr Sharon Savage

Lecturer in Ageing and Dementia

Dr Elizabeth Shephard

Research Fellow  

Dr Jane Smith

Senior Lecturer in Primary Care

Dr Sal Stapley

Research Fellow 
Professor Rod Taylor Professor of Health Services Research
Professor Jose Valderas Professor of Health Services and Policy Research 

Dr Fiona Warren

Senior Lecturer in Medical Statistics  

Dr Bianca Wiering

Postdoctorate Research Associate

Rachel Winder

Research Fellow

Affiliate Members

Member of staffPosition
Professor Louise Allan Professor of Geriatric Medicine
Professor Rob Anderson Associate Professor of Health Services and Implementation Research, Director of Research Impact (Institute of Health Research), Director of ESMI
Professor Clive Ballard Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean
Dr Jessica Bollen Associate Research Fellow
Dr Anne Corbett Senior Lecturer in Dementia Research
Professor Barney Dunn Professor
Professor Tamsin Ford Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dr Lisa Gibbons

Honorary Clinical Associate Research Fellow and Clinical Research Specialty Lead for the NIHR

Professor Colin Green Professor of Health Economics
Professor Vicky Goodwin Associate Professor of Ageing and Rehabilitation
Professor William Henley Professor of Medical Statistics
Professor Clare Hulme Professor of Health Economics
Professor Chris Hyde Professor of Public Health and Clinical Epidemiology
Dr David Llywelyn Senior Research Fellow

Professor Antonietta Medina-Lara

Associate Professor in Health Economics (E&R)

Dr Tamsin Newglove-Delgado

Senior Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Public Health

Dr Martin Pitt

Associate Professor of Healthcare Modelling and Simulation

Professor Anne Spencer

Associate Professor

Dr Beverley Shields

Senior Lecturer in Medical Statistics

Professor Krasimira Tsaneva

Professor of Mathematics for Healthcare

For further information about the APEx collaboration contact Chloe Thomas (APEx Administrator)