Posted Tuesday 28 May 2013
Dr Annette Boaz has been appointed as a reader in healthcare research at the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, run jointly by Kingston and St George's. She has joined from King's College London.
Dr Boaz is a social scientist who specialises in measuring how research into healthcare issues influences policy and practice, and how it ultimately affects patient care. She has previously worked at the universities of Oxford and Warwick, carrying out research for the UK Cabinet Office and Home Office, and has also worked in the Policy Research Programme at the Department of Health. In addition, she has undertaken work for The Economic and Social Research Council into improving the impact of research.
Major recent work includes a report for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) into whether research engagement by health service clinicians, managers and teams leads to better outcomes for patients. This report, carried out with colleagues at Brunel University, is due out later this year.
Dr Boaz is also completing another NIHR report into the effect of experience-based co-design interventions – treatments developed by staff and patients or service users in partnership based on their own experiences – on the outcomes for lung cancer and intensive care patients in two UK hospitals.
Her other work includes measuring the impact of stroke research and developing an implementation score to assess this, and investigating the post-operation experiences of kidney transplant patients.
Dr Boaz has published widely in international journals and presented her work at conferences across the world. She is also involved in a number of European Union-funded networks on research impact, including the Evidence Informed Policy and Practice in Education in Europe project.
In her new appointment, Dr Boaz is keen to take advantage of the strengths of the Faculty, and is investigating collaborations with researchers including Dr Fiona Jones, a reader in rehabilitation sciences and the founder of the Bridges stroke self-management programme, and Professor Ray Jones, professor of social work.
"I was aware of the strengths and expertise at the Faculty, and one of the reasons I was keen to come here is that it's an excellent environment to understand how healthcare practice and policy taps into research," said Dr Boaz. "Working with the new Centre for Public Engagement at the Faculty, for example, should provide opportunities for looking at experience-based co-design.
"I find this area of work fascinating as it's often hard to predict what research is going to have an impact on clinical practice. It's always surprising.
"People go into research to bring about change, and I'm interested in finding out how effective they can be in doing this, and finding ways to improve it."
As well as her research activities, Dr Boaz will be teaching on the Faculty's Clinical Practice MRes later in the year.