Prof Graham Martin

Dr Graham MartinMA (Oxon), MSc (Bristol), PhD (Nottingham), FHEA

Professor of Health Organisation and Policy

Social Science Applied to Healthcare Improvement Research (SAPPHIRE) Group

Health Sciences
University of Leicester
Centre for Medicine
University Road
Leicester, LE1 7RH

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3207


Personal details


I originally trained in geography and after I finished my Master’s, started my first academic job as a research assistant in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Leicester, one of the departments that evolved into the current Department of Health Sciences.

I decided that I enjoyed research but did not fancy spending another three or four years on a research council stipend! I therefore looked for jobs in social scientific research that didn’t require a doctorate, and ended up in this department. I built up an interest and knowledge in healthcare research and then spent a few years at Nottingham, where I also did my PhD. I came back to Leicester in 2009 and have been a part of SAPPHIRE ever since.

I am currently working on a number of projects. I am working with Rupert Pearse, an intensive care specialist at Bart’s, and with Carolyn Tarrant and David Kocman from SAPPHIRE, to provide ethnographic expertise to a quality-improvement project to improve peri-operative care for people undergoing emergency abdominal surgery. I will shortly be starting another study of acute care for older people with Simon Conroy here at Leicester. I am also involved in the East Midlands Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC), a large collaboration between Leicester, Nottingham and the region’s healthcare organisations that seeks to develop, undertake and translate research that is focused on local healthcare priorities.

Working in healthcare research is both intellectually fascinating and hugely important. The challenges of managing and organising the healthcare system are immense. Improving the health service is not a matter of applying simple fixes—it’s a complex organisation, and interventions don’t always work as well as they might—and they sometimes have the opposite effect to what’s intended. SAPPHIRE is one of the few places that takes a scientific approach to understanding these processes: developing ways of improving healthcare and analysing how well these work in practice.

I enjoy watching police dramas on the television, playing and watching football, and trying to turn his family into Derby County fans.

  • Member, NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research Panel (researcher-led)
  • Trustee, Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Associate editor, BMJ Quality & Safety
  • Senior member, ESRC Peer Review College
  • External examiner, BSc Healthcare Management, Policy and Research, University of Southampton


  • Sessions on the ‘Foundations’ and ‘Qualitative methods’ modules of the MRes Applied Health Researc
  • Sessions on the social scientific modules of the MBChB

PhD students

  • Emma Angell
    Practice responsiveness: policy and implementation in primary care
  • Emma Jones
    Describing methods and interventions in perioperative quality improvement
  • Caroline Morris
    Working title: RISK-I: Exploring RISK-Identification to prevent cardiovascular disease
  • Elizabeth Sutton
    Staff and patients’ perspectives and experiences of patient involvement in patient safety



My research focuses on various issues in the organisation and delivery of health and social care, including:

  • The implementation of health and social care policy
  • Organisational change, management and the professions
  • Patient and public participation in health

Current research projects

  • Enhanced Peri-Operative Care for High-risk patients (EPOCH) Trial. A stepped wedge randomised cluster trial of an intervention to improve quality of care for patients undergoing emergency laparotomy
    Miqdad Asaria, Julian Bion, David Cromwell, Omar Faiz, Alan Girling, Mike Grocott, Peter Holt, Sally Kerry, Richard Lilford, Rupert Pearse, Carol Peden, Ravi Mahajan, Graham Martin, Gerry Richardson, Kate Rivett, Carolyn Tarrant, Tim Stephens. 
  • East Midlands Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC)
  • Evaluation of the Health Foundation’s Safer Clinical Systems Programme Phase 2
    Dixon-Woods M, Martin G, Tarrant C, Bion J, Goeschel C (Armstrong Institute)
    Health Foundation
  • Sepsis VTE Collaborative Project Evaluation
    Carolyn Tarrant, Graham Martin, Julian Bion. 
    Healthcare Improvement Scotland

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