My research is on the social, cultural and political aspects of health care and healthcare improvement. My work is ethnographic, exploring healthcare organisation, knowledge, and governance.
I studied anthropology at the University of Queensland and then joined the Department of Nursing at the University of Technology, Sydney, as a research assistant. In 1997 I moved to London and worked in the health policy and economic research unit at the British Medical Association on a ten-year longitudinal study of doctors' careers. During this time I also completed a masters degree in health services/systems research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the London School of Economics and Political Science. My dissertation, on how early career doctors understood and organised their work, was published in Sociology of Health and Illness.
I stayed at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to complete a PhD in anthropology. My doctoral research explored the intersection of publics, professionals, knowledge, and place in the politics of healthcare, through the case of hospital closures in England. Whilst at the LSHTM I convened, with Oliver Bonnington, the London Medical Sociology Study Group. Following my PhD I was part of a workshop on 'Decentering health policy: Narratives, resistance, and practices' at the Centre for British Studies, University of California, Berkeley. My paper on sedimented governance in the English NHS was published as a chapter in Decentring Health Policy: Learning from British Experiences in Healthcare Governance (Routledge) edited by Mark Bevir and Justin Waring. My postdoctoral research, at University College London, was on the governance of quality and safety in hospitals. I joined the School of Health Sciences in 2018.
I am a member of the British Sociological Association and the Health Policy and Politics Network and an executive member of the Society for Studies in Organising Healthcare.
Anthropology, healthcare, and healthcare improvement
Why social science can help us better understand organisational change in healthcare
Governments want healthcare staff to change patients' behaviour - but that's unlikely to work
I am interested in social science approaches to healthcare policy and governance, organisation, professional communities, and care practices. I am currently studying the role of clinical leaders in healthcare governance.