Workforce organisation and wellbeing logo

Workforce, Organisation and Wellbeing (WOW) research theme

Our vision is to lead high quality research and educational innovation that will inform practice and support the wellbeing of the healthcare workforce to ensure optimal staff and patient outcomes.

We do this by working with a number of professional groups – including medicine, nursing, midwifery, paramedics, psychology, and public health – alongside patients, families, carers and health services researchers with expertise in quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods methodologies.

Research interests

The healthcare workforce is large in number and reach and accounts for a significant percentage of healthcare expenditure. It is vital that best evidence is generated and used in the optimal organisation and delivery of healthcare which is fundamental to high quality patient care delivery in the NHS, private healthcare and third sector organisations.

We investigate policy, practice and education related to the healthcare workforce. We also develop and evaluate workforce and educational tools and interventions to improve care delivery for patients. Research and scholarship in healthcare workforce, organisation and wellbeing underpins clinician, manager and support staff’s decision making and supports students and staff to care well.

Research areas

  • Workforce staffing and policy implementation
  • Supporting the healthcare workforce to care well (staff wellbeing and resilience) and improve care delivery: understanding organisational determinants
  • Student, employee and patient wellbeing: development and evaluation of interventions
  • Systems that support staff to raise concerns and speak up
  • The impact of the built environment on care delivery and patient experience
  • Describing, assessing and improving teamwork in healthcare (multi/inter-disciplinary teamwork).

Methodological expertise

  • Realist evaluation and synthesis
  • Systematic and scoping reviews
  • Quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods designs
  • Survey design and evaluation
  • Randomised controlled trials
  • Ethnography; interpretative research
  • User-led co-design of interventions
  • Organisational case studies
  • Development, implementation and evaluation of interventions
  • Secondary data analysis (systematic reviews/meta-analyses).

Covid-19 resources

During the Covid-19 crisis in the UK in April 2020, Professor Jill Maben and Professor Cath Taylor of the workforce organisation and wellbeing theme together with Professor Jackie Bridges of the University of Southampton developed evidence informed guidance to support nurses psychological and mental health. The guidance is equally relevant to staff wellbeing when the pandemic is over; highlighting peer and team support and outlining what managers, organisations and leaders can do to support nurse wellbeing.

Watch Duncan Hamilton, a respiratory nurse, and Ann Gallagher, an ethics in care professor discuss how nurses can approach ethical dilemmas, particularly during Covid-19.

Schwartz Center Rounds®

Schwartz Rounds are a healthcare staff intervention developed by the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care in Boston, USA that was introduced to the UK by the Point of Care Foundation in 2009, and now run in over 250 organisations in the UK.  They are organisation-wide fora open to all staff (including non-clinical staff) and were developed to support staff to deliver compassionate care by providing a safe space where staff could share and reflect on the emotional, social and ethical challenges faced at work. They are intended to help improve staff wellbeing and ultimately patient care by supporting staff empathy and compassion. The premise is that staff are more able to make personal connections with colleagues and patients if they have insight into their own responses and feelings.

Professor Jill Maben led the NIHR-funded national evaluation of Schwartz Rounds, the largest and most robust evaluation of Rounds to-date, with findings showing the beneficial impact of attendance at Rounds on a range of outcomes, and a realist-evaluation leading to a depth understanding of how and why they work.  Our outputs including films and an organisational guide for implementing and sustaining Rounds can be found on  our A Longitudinal National Evaluation of Schwartz Centre Rounds® page.

Since May 2019 we have been running Rounds in the School of Health Sciences for both our healthcare students, and separately for our staff. We also have a PhD student, Duncan Hamilton, evaluating Rounds in the undergraduate setting.

Areas of interest for doctoral study

We welcome approaches from people wishing to undertake postgraduate research with us.

We particularly welcome enquiries in the following areas:

  • Healthcare staff, student and patient health and wellbeing
  • The impact of workforce policy changes on healthcare staffs’ ability to care effectively
  • Impact of teamwork and organisational structure on staff wellbeing, clinical outcomes and care quality
  • Supporting healthcare staff to deliver compassionate care
  • Investigating the use of reflective practice to support staff to care well.

Please contact Freda Mold ( and Jenny Harris (, our postgraduate research directors, if you are considering postgraduate research.

Our studies


Theme members

Research theme leads

Jill Maben profile image

Professor Jill Maben

Professor of Health Services Research and Nursing

Cath Taylor profile image

Professor Cath Taylor

Professor of Healthcare Workforce Organisation and Wellbeing

Research theme members

Carys Banks profile image

Dr Carys Banks

NIHR Research Fellow

Zoe Bedford profile image

Zoe Bedford

Teaching Fellow

Susan Brooks profile image

Sue Brooks

Visiting Senior Lecturer

Hilary Causer profile image

Dr Hilary Causer

Research Fellow

Dr Anna Conolly

Research Fellow

Anna Conolly profile image

Dr Anna Conolly

Lecturer (0.2) and research fellow (0.8)

Anna Cox profile image

Dr Anna Cox

Senior Research Fellow

Elizabeth Crowhurst profile image

Lizzie Crowhurst

Teaching Fellow

Johanna Groothuizen profile image

Dr Hanna Groothuizen

Research Fellow

Jenny Harris profile image

Dr Jenny Harris

Lecturer in Cancer Care

Carin Magnusson profile image

Dr Carin Magnusson

Lecturer in Health Services Research

Vicky Naidoo profile image

Vicky Naidoo

Teaching Fellow in Mental Health

Lucie Ollis profile image

Lucie Ollis

Research Fellow

Karen Poole profile image

Dr Karen Poole

Teaching Fellow

Dr Ruth Riley

Senior Lecturer

Vikki Saravia profile image

Vikki Saravia

Teaching Fellow Integrated Health (Midwifery)

Helen Stanley profile image

Helen Stanley

Associate Tutor

Karen Stenner profile image

Dr Karen Stenner

Lecturer in Health Services Research

Dr Renske Visser

Research Fellow

Nikki White profile image

Nikki White

Senior Teaching Fellow

Magdalena Zasada profile image

Dr Magdalena Zasada

Lecturer in Workforce, Organisation and Wellbeing