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MSc in Translational Health Sciences

Gemma leads the Health Organisations and Policy module.

Find out more about the MSc in Translational Health Sciences

Gemma Hughes

BA (Hons), MSc (LSE), DPhil


Health Services Researcher

I bring practical experience and knowledge of health services to my interdisciplinary research, which focuses on critically analysing the relationships between health and social care policy, practice and lived experience. I have broad interests in how patients and the public interact with health and social care services and specific interests in how these interactions are shaped by the complexity of health and social care systems and technologies.

At present I am investigating technologies in health and social care as part of the Virtual Presence study in collaboration with the University of Oslo (where I hold a part-time postdoctoral fellowship) and Oslo Metropolitan University.

I am also co-investigator on Witness to harm, holding to account where I lead ethnographic work on witnesses’ experiences of Fitness to Practise proceedings.

My previous research includes the study of spread and scale-up of video consulting in the UK NHS and qualitative research into how patients and doctors make shared decisions about surgery as part of the NIHR funded Osiris programme.  I developed case studies of integrated care and digital technologies for carers as part of the SCALS (Studies in Co-creating Assisted Living Solutions) programme. My work on SCALS also involved developing a public engagement programme in partnership with the Pitt Rivers Museum: Messy Realities: the secret life of technology.

I have a professional background in the public sector in the UK, having started my career working in the areas of homelessness and mental health in the voluntary sector before pursuing a career in the NHS where I held senior service improvement and commissioning roles. 

My DPhil, completed in 2018, was an ethnographic case study of integrated health and social care for people at high risk of hospital admission.

I am committed to spanning boundaries between policy, organisational and clinical perspectives to contribute to understanding and addressing ‘real world’ problems of how to best organise care and am interested in hearing from potential DPhil students with similar research interests.