I joined the Unviersity of Exeter in April 2012, coming from a background in health and social care service improvement and policy implementation.
I have always been interested in understanding how and why different service changes in health and social care services do or don't get implemented, and also why they are, and are not, effective. This preoccupation with what makes things 'work' is one of the driving forces behind my academic interests. The other driver is my continued interest in how knowledge becomes practice; more specifically, what are the kinds of knowledge that get used in a practice setting; and in the instances when this isn't research based knowledge, why that might be.
I started my PhD in 2013 to explore how third sector organisations use reseach knowledge in their work. Despite many TSOs (that is, charities, social enterprises, and other 'not for private profit' organisations) providing healthcare services on behalf of the NHS, relatively little is known about how, in the UK at least, they use research based knowledge, and how they blend or integrate it with other forms of knowledge (from tacit and experiential, to internally generated knowledge from evaluations or service user surveys). Understanding how and why TSOs use or not research and other evidence is important if research is to be applicable and relevant to not just public sector organisations, but other kinds of organisations which make up the mixed economy of health care.
To investigate these issues I have completed a scoping review of literature (http://implementationscience.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13012-015-0265-6), conducted interviews with people who work in Third Sector Organisations on their views of research based knowledge and its place in their work, and have recently commenced the first of two ethnographic case studies with local Third Sector providers to further our understanding. The PhD is funded by the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for the South West (PenCLAHRC) and is part of the Evidence for Policy and Practice theme.
MSc Public Health, University of the West of England
BSc (Hons), Psychology, Goldsmiths’ College, University of London
In my most recent non-research post (2010 – 2012), I worked for the South West Development Centre (SWDC),
commissioned by NHS South of England to manage projects which support policy implementation. I was
responsible for designing and managing a range of service improvement projects with Primary Care Trusts and
partners to improve local services. For example, I led the consolidation of strategic relationships between local
TSOs and health and social care commissioning organisations in the South West. I developed and delivered
training, and provided advice to TSOs to increase their influence and impact in commissioning and contracting
negotiations, and to improve the quality of their services. I also led a biannual research into practice seminar on
suicide prevention for Primary Care Trust suicide prevention leads, and delivered training on the National
Dementia Strategy cost benefit tools and commissioning guidance.
Prior to SWDC, I was the Voluntary Sector Liaison Lead for the Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP)
(2005 – 2010). CSIP was a national organisation, funded by the Department of Health to support action on
National Service Frameworks and other high level policies. My role was the development of NHS commissioning
from TSOs in the South West. I did this by coordinating activity at county level, bringing TSOs together with
commissioners to increase partnership working. I led workshops for the Regional Public Health group, countylevel
public health workers, and TSOs on commissioning. I facilitated a regional network on health and wellbeing
for third sector and NHS South West, the Regional Development Agency, South West Regional Public Health
Group and Government Office South West to facilitate collaboration on shared objectives (e.g. Local Area
And before CSIP, I was a Local Liaison Officer for National Mind, the mental health charity. Based in the South West, I was responsible for developing capacity amongst the local Mind network, and overseeing the implementation on Quality Management in Mind. And prior to Mind, I worked for four and a half years as a project coordinator for the East Devon Mental Health Self-Advocacy Project, a voluntary sector project that supported people with experience of mental health services to get their views heard within the local NHS and social care.
Knowledge mobilisation and implementation science
Realist methods of evaluation and synthesis
Third Sector Organisations
Leadership and co-production
PhD project "How do third sector organisations use research and other knowledge in their work?"
Bay6: An evaluation of a homeless hospital discharge services
Suicide prevention: Preventing suicide in public places - collaborating with Dr Christabel Owens on the delivery of guidance to Public Health England on preventing suicide in Public Places.
Publications by category
Publications by year
I teach on the MSc in Health Services Research at the Unviersity of Exeter, as well as critical appraisal skills for qualitative research to Undergraduates at the Medical School