Dr Nicola Mackintosh

Nicola Mackintosh 2019Associate Professor in Social Science Applied to Health

Social Science Applied to Healthcare Improvement Research (SAPPHIRE) Group

Health Sciences
University of Leicester
George Davies Centre
University Road
Leicester, LE1 7RH

Tel: +44 (0)116 229 7262
Email: njm35@leicester.ac.uk




    I have a background in critical care nursing, and I am a graduate of King’s College London. I moved from clinical practice into research through a desire to understand and influence relationships between frontline practice, organisational systems and socio-cultural context. My research uses sociological theory and methods to bring new understandings to patient safety and improvement / implementation science research. My research covers maternity, emergency and acute care.

    Before I joined SAPPHIRE, I worked in the NIHR King’s Patient Safety and Service Quality (PSSQ) Research Centre leading ethnographic research exploring the management of complications in maternity and acute care including the role of safety tools and rapid response systems. During this time I completed my PhD which examined the construct of ‘rescue’ and relationships between organisational systems, department and individual level processes in managing acute illness. I then moved to the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine at Kings College, London leading the process evaluation of an ICU telemedicine programme. I was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship within King’s Improvement Science to study patient and family contributions to safety (specifically patient and family roles in helping to secure response for life threatening conditions).

    Since joining SAPPHIRE I have continued with research focused on: patient and family contributions to safety; the role of new technologies in shaping patient-provider roles; rescue pathways and staff response in managing acute illness; and patient responsibilities around self-diagnosis and self-triage linked to self-care and patienthood. I am SAPPHIRE Deputy Research Group Lead, Course Director for the MRes in Applied Health Research and the Qualitative Methods Module lead, and Course lead for the University of Leicester’s ‘Ethnography for Healthcare Improvement Summer School’. I am editorial lead (with Natalie Armstrong) for ‘Managing uncertainty in healthcare: revisiting and advancing sociological contributions’ 27th Sociology of Health & Illness Monograph, 2019-2020. I am Health Sciences Pathway Lead for Health and Wellbeing ESRC Doctoral Training Programme and Panel Member for Research for Patient Benefit Programme (RfPB), East Midlands Regional Advisory Committee (RAC).

    I am interested in supervising PhD students in relation to the following topics: organisational and professional boundaries / hierarchies / jurisdictions; digital technologies and changing patient-provider roles; organisation of healthcare work; speaking up for safety (patients, families and staff); risk and uncertainty in pregnancy and childbirth; art and design for knowledge translation and healthcare improvement.

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