Dr Imelda Mcdermott PhD

Research Fellow

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I am a social science researcher with over 10 years of experience in health policy analysis. I have a broad and deep understanding of the current health system in the UK, having led research in this area on multiple projects, with most of my experience being a core member of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) funded Policy Research Unit in Commissioning and the Healthcare System (PRUComm) and contributing to projects funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

My main area of research is in primary care policy, specifically workforce and commissioning. I have also contributed to projects addressing wider system issues, including the operation of competition in the NHS and the development of Integrated Care Systems.

I have worked as part of the Organisations theme within the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre since 2009, which from January 2011 became part of the Health Policy, Politics and Organisation (HiPPO) Research Group within the Centre for Primary Care and Health Services Research. In 2018, HiPPO became part of the bigger Health Policy Organisations and Economics (HOPE) group within the Centre and a member of the Institute for Health Policy and Organisation (IHPO).

My methodological expertise is in qualitative research. I have a particular interest in exploring the use of applied linguistics methods for health policy and health services research. A paper using this method (Who do we think we are? Analysing the content and form of identity work in the English National Health Service), was awarded a Highly Commended Paper of 2013 by the Journal of Health Organisation & Management as it was thought to be “one of the most impressive pieces of work the [Editorial] team has seen throughout 2013”. In this paper, I introduced a novel approach to analytical methods which had not been applied to health services research before.  

I am currently exploring the use of text mining and big qualitative data analysis to provide rapid evidence and evaluation that can feed into the policymaking process. 


PhD Theoretical & Applied Linguistics, University of Edinburgh


Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Health Policy & Politics Network

British Association for Applied Linguistics

Member of the University of Manchester Research Ethics Committee (January 2013 - October 2015)


Areas of expertise

Biology, Medicine and Health (BMH) Domains

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