BA (Hons), PhD
- Primary position:
- Professor of Medical Sociology
"I like to get inside the NHS - talk to people, watch their work, and use social theory to find answers that will improve healthcare."
Her teaching includes postgraduate supervision and contributions to undergraduate education across health and social sciences programmes. She also crosses disciplinary boundaries, working closely with the Southampton Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training. She is also a licenced Springboard Women’s Development trainer and delivers this award winning programme for staff in the University.
Catherine serves on the editorial boards of Sociology of Health and Illness, Digital Health, and the Journal of Health Services Research and Policy and is a past editor of Sociology. She is a member of the Health Foundation founding cohort of the Q quality improvement initiative and an elected member of the Academy of Social Sciences Council, Health Services Research UK, and the Society for the Studies in Organising Healthcare.
- Currently occupied combining sociology and ethnography to explore urgent and emergency care, decision-making, communication and technologies in use.
- Applied theory and research tackling the ‘wicked problems’ surrounding how best to organize and deliver modern healthcare
- Focus on health professions and everyday healthcare practice, and the impacts of policy and organisational change on these.
- Internationally recognised expert on qualitative research in health care – changing the way a profession thinks about and conducts research
- Applied and relevant research, working successfully across disciplinary boundaries and linking with clinical practice
Memberships and distinctions
NHS Confederation Health Services Research Network Board 2008 -
Co-Editor, Sociology 2006-2009
Co-Director, Work Futures Research Centre
Co-Director, Digital Economy University Strategic Research Group
The University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints)
Conference or Workshop Item
- Strong focus on health care work and clinical and non-clinical workers including decision-making, communication and organizational boundaries
- Investigating how technologies (notably computer and web-based) are – or are not – brought into successful use in a range of different health care settings
- Research on policy change, re-organisation and new ways of delivering healthcare - workforce configuration, new roles and service innovation
- Key contributor to developing meta-ethnography (a novel method for integrating research findings) and new methods for qualitative evidence synthesis
- Exploring the contribution of theory – notably normalisation process theory - to understanding innovation and implementation in health care
Primary research group: Innovative and Essential Care
Exploring the potential of ‘telehealth’ (internet and the telephone) to improve care for people with long term conditions.
A multidisciplinary case study of computer decision support and workforce redesign. A unique contribution to the understanding of how health technologies are deployed in the NHS.
A collaboration with colleagues in local NHS Trusts to provide the first ethnographic study of communication and information transfer during ambulance journeys.
Examining the everyday work and practice, the experience and skills of the workforce, the technologies brought into use, and organizational environment, required to deliver the national ‘111’ single point of access service.
This project will examine three distinct models of commissioning expertise, namely private sector (i.e. external providers), Primary Care Trust (PCT) commissioning and GP consortia commissioning and. explore how commissioners access, assimilate, integrate and utilize different kinds of managerial and clinical knowledge in the commissioning process.
A study of sense-making strategies and help-seeking behaviours associated with the use and provision of urgent care services
Urgent care reform has led to the development of multiple services (e.g. out-of-hours, walk-in centres, NHS 111) designed to improve access and manage rising service demand. Policy has sought to influence patient behaviour and choice of service in this complex urgent care landscape. Guiding patients to ‘get the right advice in the right place, first time', reducing unnecessary emergency department attendances by providing more responsive urgent care services, and providing better support for people to self-care has increasingly been the focus of national and local health policy. However, effective service provision requires a much deeper understanding of the factors that influence patients’ help-seeking and choices.
Successful integration of up to date research into postgraduate education for healthcare professionals and researchers
Supporting research excellence through highly evaluated teaching of social science and research methodology
Sustained contribution to the knowledge base for health education through publications used in education programmes across the world
Deputy Director of the pioneering University of Southampton RCUK Doctoral Training Centre in Web Science