Dr Anna van der Gaag CBE

Visiting Professor, Ethics and Regulation
DipCST, MSc, Ph.D.

Academic and research departments

School of Biosciences.



Robert Jago, Anna van der Gaag, Kostas Stathis, Ivan Petej, Piyawat Lertvittayakumjorn, Yamuna Krishnamurthy, YANG GAO, Juan Caceres Silva, MT Webster, Ann Gallagher, Zubin Austin (2021)Use of Artificial Intelligence in Regulatory Decision-Making, In: Journal of nursing regulation12(3)pp. 11-19 Elsevier

This project aimed to develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-based tool for improving the consistency and efficiency of decision making in the nursing complaints process in three jurisdictions. This article describes the tool and the overall process of its development. The AI tool was not designed to replace human judgment but rather to perform three data-driven decision support tasks: (a) an independent risk prediction of the case, (b) a comparison with previous similar cases, and (c) a cross reference to relevant parts of the regulatory standards or rules in each jurisdiction. Three nursing regulatory bodies in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia provided anonymized data from 5,700 cases for tool design and testing. Regulatory staff were involved in each stage of development and supported the potential role of an AI-based tool such as this in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of decision-making in disciplinary processes in nursing regulation nationally and internationally.

Zubin Austin, Anna van der Gaag, Ann Gallagher, Robert Jago, Sarah Banks, Grace Lucas, Magdalena Zasada (2018)Understanding Complaints to Regulators About Paramedics in the UK and Social Workers in England: Findings from a Multi-Method Study, In: Journal of Medical Regulation104(3)pp. 19-28 Allen Press, Inc

Within the regulatory community, there has been increasing interest in the issue of proportionality in regulation — that is, using the right amount and right types of regulatory interventions to achieve the primary mandate of the regulatory community in order to serve and to protect. The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in the United Kingdom, one of the largest health-care regulatory bodies in the world, recently commissioned a study examining the disproportionately large number of complaints against paramedics in the UK and social workers in England. The objective of the study was to examine the nature of, and to better understand the reasons behind, this disproportionality, and to identify options and opportunities from a regulatory perspective that could be taken to address this issue. The study involved a systematic multi-methods research approach involving four key interrelated research elements: • A systematic literature review • A Delphi consultation with international experts • Interviews (n=26) and four focus groups (n=23) with UK experts, including service users and caregivers • A review of a random sample (n=284) of fitness-to-practice cases over two years across the three stages of the process (initial complaint, Investigating Committee Panel, and final hearing) Findings from this study highlight the evolving nature of both professions and the influence of a binary model of complaints adjudication that may not be sufficiently nuanced to balance public protection with practitioners’ learning needs. A non-binary option for understanding complaints against practitioners is suggested in this paper, offering a process that involves and engages both employers and practitioners in a more meaningful manner.

Susan Biggar, Martin Fletcher, Anna van der Gaag, Zubin Austin (2022)Finding Space for Kindness: Public Protection and Health Professional Regulation, In: International journal for quality in health care OUP

Additional publications