Dr Carys Banks

NIHR Research Fellow
Ph.D., M.Res., M.A., B.Soc.Sc. (Hons).


Areas of specialism

Social Anthropology ; Ethnography; Health and Social Care ; learning disability

University roles and responsibilities

  • Member of Workforce, Organisation and Wellbeing (WOW) research theme, School of Health Sciences, University of Surrey.
  • Member of Long-Term Conditions research cluster, School of Health Sciences, University of Surrey.
  • ECR Rep, School of Health Sciences and ECR rep for Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey.
  • Member of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion ECR group, University of Surrey

    Previous roles

    January 2009 - January 2011
    In recognition of inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities in NHS and social care services, this project sought to explore how these inequalities were being played out within a group of services in the East of England. The primary aim was to understand how inequalities might be reduced by determining the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders involved in this service provision. This was a mixed methods project on which I was the primary data collector.
    University of Cambridge
    August 2013 - December 2013
    During my doctorate I was awarded ESRC Overseas Institutional Visit and Overseas Fieldwork funding to conduct ethnographic fieldwork in a learning disability social care service in Malmö, Sweden. I designed this project and sought collaboration with Malmö Högskola (University) and Malmö Stad (municipality) This work enabled me to develop a broader understanding of learning disability support beyond the UK. The funding was originally awarded for three months, but due to the success of the project a further two months of Overseas Fieldwork funding was awarded by ESRC.
    University of Bath, Malmö Högskola, Malmö Stad
    May 2015 - August 2015
    Towards the end of my doctorate I was awarded further funding from ESRC to conduct a placement with a policy team at the Local Government Association and NHS England who had been tasked through the Transforming Care programme to produce a service model for commissioners of health and social care service for people with learning disabilities, autism and behaviour that challenges: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/service-model-291015.pdf. Following the end of this placement, I was employed by the Local Government Association as an external policy consultant.
    University of Bath, Local Government Association

    Business, industry and community links

    Institute of Directors
    Student membership


    Research interests

    Research projects

    Indicators of esteem

    • My doctoral research was awarded the 2016 Radcliffe Brown/Sutasoma Award from the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI). This is ‘a starred award and given to students of exceptional quality in recognition of doctoral research that is of potentially outstanding quality and likely to make an important contribution to social anthropology’.


      Postgraduate research supervision

      Completed postgraduate research projects I have supervised




      Banks, C. (2021). Loneliness in the lives of people with learning disabilities: where are we going wrong? Academia Letters, Article 264. https://doi.org/10.20935/AL264

      Adams, M., Kelly, D., Maben, J., Mannion, R., Banks, C., & Jones, A. (2020). How do “heroes” speak up? NHS staff raising concerns during covid-19. [Online]. blogs.bmj.com: BMJ Publishing Group. https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/08/11/how-do-heroes-speak-up-nhs-staff-raising-concerns-during-covid-19/

      Jones, A., Blake, J., Banks, C., Adams, M., Kelly, D., Mannion, R., & Maben, J. (2021). Speaking up about bullying and harassment in healthcare: reflection and analysis on worker well-being and patient safety following the introduction of an innovative new role in NHS England. In Montgomery A (ed.). Connecting Healthcare Worker Well-Being, Patient Safety and Organisational Change: The Triple Challenge. Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being, pp. 145-161. Springer Publishing. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-030-60998-6_10

      Banks, C.A., D. Wainwright, R. Gooberman-Hill. (2020). An ethnography exploring the limits of dedifferentiation in the lives of adults with learning disabilities. Special Issue in Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilityhttps://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/13668250.2020.1799161

      Banks, C.A. (2019). Professional distance versus human touch. Community Livinghttps://www.cl-initiatives.co.uk/professional-distance-versus-human-touch/

      Banks, C.A. (2019). Care in the 21st century: what can mainstream services learn from the Camphill movement? Alliance for Camphill. https://www.allianceforcamphill.com/post/manage-your-blog-from-your-liv…

      Banks, C.A. (2019). Analysing Ethnographic Research Methods: The Importance of Retaining Immersion During the Analytic Process Using Research From UK-Based Learning Disability Social Care Settings. SAGE Research Methods datasets. https://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526495990

      Banks, C.A. (2018). Sometimes people with learning disabilities need a hug – but support staff aren’t meant to give them. In: The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/sometimes-people-with-learning-disabilities-need-a-hug-but-support-staff-arent-meant-to-give-them-100709

      Banks, C.A. (2018). Working through ethical and emotional concerns and uncertainties in ethnographic research with people with learning disabilities. In Ethnographies and Health: Reflections on Empirical and Methodological Entanglements. E. Garnett, J. Reynolds & S. Milton (eds.). Palgrave macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-89396-9_2

      Banks, C.A. (2015). Lifting the veil on concealed vulnerability: the impact of the ethnographic experience. Medical Anthropology Theory. http://www.medanthrotheory.org/article/view/5672

      Banks, C. (2013). Social Care Support within UK-Based Supported-Living Homes for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: A Qualitative Interview Study of Support Workers' Accounts of the Nature of Everyday Care and Support. SAGE Research Methods Cases. dx.doi.org/10.4135/978144627305013501439

      Redley, M., Banks, C., Foody, K., and Holland, A. (2012). Healthcare for men and women with learning disabilities: understanding inequalities in access. Disability & Society, 27(6), pp. 747–759. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2012.673080

      Banks, C. (2012). Interpreting and ‘doing’ empowerment and protection care imperatives in a supported-living environment for intellectually disabled adults: findings from an ethnographic study. Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society, 37(3), pp.75-88. https://researchportal.bath.ac.uk/en/publications/everyday-ethnography-interpreting-and-doing-empowerment-and-prote

      Banks, C. A., K. Foody, M. Redley and A. J. Holland 2010. Report to the Cambridgeshire Learning Disability Partnership Board: Understanding the Access and Provision of Healthcare to Adults with Learning Disabilities in Cambridgeshire. Cambridge: Cambridgeshire County Council.

      Banks, C. and Redley, M. (2009). IMCAs in their second year: the experience of key stakeholders. The Second Year of the Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy Service: 2008-2009, London: Department of Health, pp. 44-54.