I am a specialist social care researcher and Deputy Director at the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) University of Manchester. I undertake research capacity development in social care through: management and supervision of staff; ensuring grant funding; and strategic planning. I am Deputy Lead for the PSSRU Research Group on the Divisional Leadership Team, Division of Population Health.
My research has included work on: service evaluation for adults with serious and longstanding mental health problems; older people and long-term care; psychological and social care services for military veterans; cost-effectiveness analyses (with a particular focus on social care); policy evaluations; preference elicitation studies; dementia home support; assessment of depression and cognitive impairment in adults and older people.
I work actively with patient and carers groups working with people with dementia and with Third-sector organisations supporting those experiencing homelessness and mental health problems.
I was professionally trained as a social worker in Lancashire and Liverpool (1986-1989) and subsequently completed higher professional training as a psychiatric social worker at The University of Manchester (1992-1995). At that time I held appointments as a social worker at Whittingham Hospital, Preston, and psychiatric and medical units in Chorley and Blackpool. I worked in Community Mental Health Teams, on a team assessing cases of deliberate self harm of those attending Accident & Emergency and as an Approved Social Worker under the 1983 Mental Health Act. I moved into a research career in 1996, initially as a researcher and Honorary Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, London and as a researcher at St James's Hospital, Leeds before being appointed as a Research Associate at the University of Manchester in 1998. My PhD (2007) focused on the performance of long-term (social) care and introduced innovative methods for analysing social care policy and practice using routine data and those from a randomised trial. I now work on projects that aim to improve practice in the 'Long-term Care System' and dementia care, including trials and observational studies. I have collaborated with researchers in Japan, the US, Canada and Northern Ireland and work with government policy makers, advising on changes to social care policy and practice. I also work closely with organisations advising and supporting carers of people with dementia and consulting with them to generate and disseminate research findings.
Memberships of committees and professional bodies
Senior Fellow, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Social Care Research
Member of Expert Advisory Group (Social Care Economics Scoping Review), National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)/York Health Economics Consortium (December 2016 – May 2017)
Member of National Advisory Council, EasyCare Assessment Tool
Member of the Health & Care Research Wales, Scientific Board for Research for Social Care Awards
Honorary member, Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA)