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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.

Covid-19: Guidance to support nurses’ psychological wellbeing

(402.8 KB .PDF)

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 Dr 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 well-being.

Download our Covid-19: Guidance to support nurses’ psychological well-being (PDF).

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

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 Debbie Cooke (, our postgraduate research directors, if you are considering postgraduate research.

Our studies

Some of our current studies include:

  • Improving the effectiveness of cancer multidisciplinary team meetings (MDTMs) in Surrey and Sussex: implementation and evaluation of an intervention package comprising of two validated tools (MDT-FIT and MDT-QuIC) designed to improve MDT working in routine clinical practice (in collaboration with the Surrey and Sussex Cancer Alliance) - Cath Taylor [PI]; Marcano-Belisario Jose; Eunice Aroyewun; 2020-2021).
  • Coping with COVID19: perceptions of and strategies used by nurse, midwife and paramedic academics teaching to these frontline workers. Professor Desley Hegney and colleagues in Australian consortium with Jill Maben University of Surrey and Stirling University.
  • The COVID19 pandemic: A descriptive, cross-sectional, longitudinal study of the professional and personal impact on Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals and students of these disciplines. Professor Janie Brown and colleagues in Australian consortium with Jill Maben University of Surrey.
  • ICON Study: the psychological wellbeing of nursing and midwifery staff and students during and after Covid-19, development of intervention guidelines for prevention and recovery. Professor Keith Couper and UK RCN research Society Consortium with Jill Maben and Ruth Abrams, University of Surrey.
  • Enabling nurses to deliver compassionate care joint proposal NIHR HS&DR- Enhanced dissemination Funding Joint PIs; Professor Jill Maben; Ruth Harris; Jackie Bridges and Anthony Arthur.
  • Care Under Pressure 2: Caring for the Carers – a realist review of interventions to minimise the incidence of mental ill-health in nurses, midwives and paramedics. NIHR HS&DR Jill Maben (Co-PI) with Dr Cath Taylor; Professor Karen Mattick, Dr Daniele Carrieri and Mr Simon Briscoe.
  • Supporting Health Care professions Registrants: how best to provide support for HCPC registrants in their day-to-day work and when experiencing fitness to practice processes. Health Care Professions Council. Jill Maben (PI); Cath Taylor; Dawn Querstret; Ellie Reynolds.
  • Delegation of insulin administration to non-registered healthcare workers in community nursing teams: an evaluation of care and practice for older people with diabetes. Jill Maben and Karen Stenner. Dunhill Medical Trust.
  • Story-telling and occupational wellbeing in health-care: a process evaluation of Schwartz Centre Rounds® using an interactional framework (Jill Maben in collaboration with Laura Thompson, Birkbeck University of London; 2018)
  • Evaluation of the implementation of “Freedom to Speak up Local Guardians” in NHS Acute hospital trusts and Mental Health trusts in England (in collaboration with Aled Jones et al, University of Cardiff; Jill Maben; Carys Banks; 2018-2020)
  • Evaluating the Care Certificate: A Cross-Sector Solution to Assuring Fundamental Skills in Nursing (in collaboration with Louise Thomson, University of Nottingham; Jill Maben; 2016-2018)
  • Evaluating the 10 year impact of the Productive Ward at the clinical microsystem level in English acute trusts (in collaboration with Glenn Robert et al, Kings college London; Jill Maben; 2015-2017)
  • A longitudinal National Evaluation of Schwartz Centre rounds®: an intervention to enhance compassion in relationships between staff and patients through providing support for staff and promoting their wellbeing (Jill Maben [PI]; Cath Taylor; 2014-2016)
  • The RA Standard Study: Reducing variation in early rheumatoid arthritis care (in collaboration with Dr James Galloway [PI], Kings College London; Cath Taylor; Magda Zasada; 2018-2020)
  • Sleep, shifts and napping: the implications of shift working on nurses' wellbeing and on the quality and safety of patient care (Jill Maben [PI]; Dawn Querstret; 2018-2019)
  • Developing Wellbeing Online: Development of a digital platform for housing mental health and wellbeing resources for students and staff (Dawn Querstret; 2016 - current)
  • Medical Emergency Teams (METs) and factors influencing their effectiveness: A Comparative Study in Finland and the UK (in collaboration with University of Eastern Finland; Carin Magnusson; 2017-2019).
  • Theatre Team Surrey Crisis Resource Management (SCReaM): A pilot study exploring the impact of using a newly developed cognitive aid during simulation crisis training. (Carin Magnusson; 2017-2019)
  • Exploring students representations of the ‘patient voice’ in reports of, and reflections on, placement learning events related to patient safety (in collaboration with Northumbria University; Carin Magnusson; 2019)

The use of Schwartz Rounds within healthcare undergraduate settings - a realist synthesis and evaluation. What works, for whom, in what circumstances, and why? (Duncan Hamilton; supervised by Professor Jill Maben and Dr Cath Taylor).


Abrams, R., Wong, G., Mahtani, K.R., Tierney, S, Boylan, A-M, Roberts, N. and Park, S. (2020). The impact of delegated home visits in general practice: a realist review on GP workload and patient care. BJGP. Accepted for publication 2 Feb 2020.

Azimirad, M., Magnusson, C., Wiseman, A., Selander, T., Parviainen, I.,Turunen, H., (2020). Nurses’ ability to timely activate rapid response systems for deteriorating patients: A comparative case scenario study between Finnish and British nurses. Intensive & Critical Care Nursing, accepted for publication 6 April 2020.

Bick, D., Taylor, C., Bhavnani, V., Healey, A., Seed, P., Roberts, S, Zasada, M., Avery, A., Craig, V, Khazaezadah, N., McMullen, S., O’Connor, S., Oki, B., Ntim, E.O., Poston, L. and Ussher, M. (2020) Lifestyle information and commercial weight management groups to support maternal postnatal weight management and positive lifestyle behaviour: the SWAN feasibility randomised controlled trial. BJOG, 127(5), pp. 636-645, https://doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.16043.

Eaton-Williams, P., Mold, F. and Magnusson, C., (2020). Effective clinical feedback provision to ambulance clinicians: a literature review. Journal of Paramedic Practice12(3), pp.109-117.

Jackson, J., Iacovides, J., Duncan, M., Alders, M., Maben, J. and Anderson, J. (2020). Operationalizing resilience engineering concepts through a serious video game for healthcare professionals. Applied Ergonomics, 87,

Maben, J. and Bridges J. (2020) Covid-19: Supporting nurses’ psychological and mental health. Editorial Journal of Clinical Nursing

MacPhee, M., Wong, G., Abrams, R. and Merrett, K. (2020). Team Processes in Canadian Primary HealthCare : A Realist Review Protocol, Healthcare Quarterly Longwoods Publishingdoi: 10.14288/1.0388742.

Querstret, D., O’Brien, K., Skene, D.J. and Maben, J. (2020). Improving fatigue risk management in healthcare: A systematic scoping review of sleep-related/fatigue-management interventions for nurses and midwives. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 106. doi:

Tierney, S., Wong, G., Roerts, N., Boylan, A-M., Park, S., Abrams, R., Reeve, J., Williams, V. and Mahtani, K.R. (2020) Supporting social prescribing in primary care by linking people to local assets: a realist review. BMC Medicine, 18 (49). doi:

Abrams, R., Vandrevala, T., Samsi, K. and Manthorpe, J. (2019). The need for flexibility when negotiating professional boundaries in the context of home care, dementia and end of life, Ageing and Society, 39(9) pp. 1976-1995, doi: 10.1017/S0144686X18000375.

Bick, D., Taylor, C., Avery, A., Bhavnani, V, Craig, V, Healey, A., Khazaezadeh, N., McMullen, S., Oki, B., Ntim, E.O., O’Connor, S., Poston, L., Seed, P., Roberts, S. and Ussher, M.  (2019). Protocol for a two-arm feasibility RCT to support postnatal maternal weight management and positive lifestyle behaviour in women from an ethnically diverse inner city population: the SWAN feasibility trial. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 5(117), doi:

D'Astous, V., Abrams, R., Vandrevala, T., Samsi, K. and Manthorpe J. (2019). Gaps in Understanding the Experiences of Homecare Workers Providing Care for People with Dementia up to the End of Life: A Systematic Review, Dementia, 18(3) pp. 970-989, doi: 10.1177/1471301217699354.

Hoinville, L., Taylor, C.Zasada, M., Warner, R., Pottle, E. and Green, J. (2019) Improving the effectiveness of cancer multidisciplinary team meetings: analysis of a national survey of MDT members. BMJ Open Quality, 8(2):e000631, doi: 10.1136/bmjoq-2019-000631.

Kelly, M., Berlin, A., Abrams, R. and Park S. (2019) Pitfalls and pleasures of pick-and-mix careers: portfolio working and whole-person medicine in general practice, British Journal of General Practice, 69(689), pp. 622-623, doi:10.3399/bjgp19X707021

Leamy, M., Reynolds, E., Robert, G., Taylor, C. and Maben J. (2019).The origins and implementation of an intervention to support healthcare staff to deliver compassionate care: exploring fidelity and adaptation in the transfer of Schwartz Center Rounds from the United states to the United Kingdom. BMC Health Serv Res, 18;19(1), pp. 457. doi: 10.1186/s12913-019-4311-y

Maben J and King A. (2019) Engaging NHS staff in research. BMJ Editorial, 365(14040),

Manthorpe, J., Vandrevala, T., Abrams, R. and Samsi, K. (2019) Working with colleagues and other professionals when caring for people with dementia at the end of life: home care workers’ experiences. International Journal of Care and Caring, 3(4) pp. 567-583, doi: 10.1332/239788219X15651814499954

Park, S. and Abrams, R. (2019). Alma-Ata 40th birthday celebrations and the Astana Declaration on Primary Health Care 2018, British Journal of General Practice, 69(682) pp. 220-221, doi: 10.3399/bjgp19X702293.

Park, S., Abrams, R., Wong, G., Feder, G., Mahtani, K.R., Barber, J. and Salisbury, C. (2019). Reorganisation of general practice: be careful what you wish for, British Journal of General Practice, 69(687), pp. 517-518, doi: 10.3399/bjgp19X705941 View abstract

Pevan K, Purssell E, Taylor C., Bick, D. and Lopez, V.K. (2019). Breastfeeding support in low and middle income countries: Secondary analysis of national survey data.  Midwifery, 10(82), doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2019.102601. 

Robert, G., Sarre, S., Maben, J., Griffiths P. and Chable R. (2019). Exploring the sustainability of quality improvement interventions in healthcare organisations: a multiple methods study of the ten-year impact of the ‘Productive Ward: Releasing Time to Care’ programme in English acute hospitals. BMJ Quality & Safety, doi 10.1136/bmjqs-2019-009457.

Sarre, S., Maben, J., Griffiths, P., Chable, R. and Robert, G. (2019). The 10-year impact of a ward-level quality improvement intervention in acute hospitals: a multiple methods study. Health Serv Deliv Res, 7(28)

Stomski, N., Morrison, P., Maben J., Amorin-Woods, L., Ardakani, E. and Theroux, J.  (2019). The adoption of person-centred care in chiropractic practice and its effect on non-specific spinal pain: an observational study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 44, pp. 56-60.

Banks, C.A. (2019). Care in the 21st century: what can mainstream services learn from the Camphill movement? Alliance for Camphill.

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 SettingsSAGE Research Methods datasets.

Cusack, L. Wiechula, R. Schultz, T. Dollard, J. & Maben J. (2019). Anticipated advantages and disadvantages of a move to 100% single room hospital in Australia: a case study. Journal of Nursing Management. [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1111/jonm.12753.

Allan, H.T., Magnusson, C., Evans, K., Horton, K., Curtis, K., Ball, E. & Johnson, M. (2018). Putting knowledge to work in clinical practice: Understanding experiences of preceptorship as outcomes of interconnected domains of learning. Journal of clinical nursing, 27(1-2), pp.123-131. doi: 10.1111/jocn.13855.

Austin, Z., van der Gaag, A., Gallagher, A., Jago, R., Banks, S., Lucas, G. & Zasada, M. (2018). Understanding Complaints to Regulators about Paramedics in the UK and Social Workers in England: Findings from a Multi-Method StudyJournal of Medical Regulation, 104(3), pp. 19-28.

Bakosh, L., Mortlock, J., Querstret, D., & Morison, L. (2018). Audio-guided mindfulness training in schools and its effect on academic attainment: Contributing to theory and practice. Learning and Instruction, 58, 34-41. doi: 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2018.04.012.

Banks, C.A. (2018). Sometimes people with learning disabilities need a hug – but support staff aren’t meant to give themThe Conversation

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.

Cowley, S., Malone, M., Whittaker, K., Donetto, S., Grigulis, A., & Maben, J. (2018). What makes health visiting successful - or not? 2.The Service Journey. Journal of Health Visiting 6 (8) 404-412. doi: 10.12968/johv.2018.6.8.404.

Cowley, S., Whittaker, K., Malone, M., Donetto, S., Grigulis, A., & Maben, J. (2018). What makes health visiting successful—or not? 1. Universality. Journal of Health Visiting, 6(7). doi: 10.12968/johv.2018.6.7.352.

Maben, J., Taylor, C., Dawson, J., Leamy, M., McCarthy, I., Reynolds, E., Ross, S. Shuldham, C., Bennett, L., & Foot, C. (2018). A Realist informed mixed methods evaluation of Schwartz Center Rounds® in England. Health Services and Delivery Research, 6(37) doi: 10.3310/hsdr06370.

Maben, J., Leamy, M., Taylor, C., Reynolds, E., Shuldham C., Dawson, J., McCarthy, I., Ross S., & Bennett, L. (2018). Understanding, Implementing and Sustaining Schwartz Rounds: An Organisational Guide to Implementation. King’s College, London.

Maben, J., Taylor, C., Leamy, M., & Shuldham C. on behalf of the project team. (2018). Understanding Schwartz Rounds: Findings from a National Evaluation (film) copyright 2018 Kings College London.

Mayer F, Bick D & Taylor C. (2018). Multidisciplinary care for pregnant women with cardiac disease: A mixed methods evaluation. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 85, 96-105. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2018.05.010.

Querstret, D., Cropley, M., & Fife-Schaw, C. (2018). The effects of an online mindfulness intervention on perceived stress, depression and anxiety in a non-clinical sample: A randomised waitlist control trial. Mindfulness, 9(6), 1825-1836. doi: 10.1007/s12671-018-0925-0.

Taylor C., Xyrichris A., Laemy M., Reynolds E., & Maben J. (2018). Can Schwartz Center Rounds support healthcare staff with emotional challenges at work, and how do they compare with other interventions aimed at providing similar support? A systematic review and scoping review. BMJ Open, 8, e024254. doi: 10.1136/ bmjopen-2018-024254n.

Thomson,L., Argyle, E., Khan, Z., Schneider, J., Arthur, A., Maben, J., Wharrad, H., Guo, B., & Eve, J (2018). Evaluating the care certificate (ECCert): a Cross-sector solution to assuring fundamental skills in caring. Policy Research Programme final report: Executive summary

Argyle, E. Thomson, L. Arthur, A. Maben, J. Schneider, J. Wharrad, H. (2017). Introducing the Care Certificate Evaluation: Innovative practice. Dementia (0)1-6. doi: 10.1177/1471301217723498.

Arthur, A., Aldus, C., Sarre, S.J.C., Maben,J. (2017). Can Health-care Assistant Training improve the relational care of older people? (CHAT) A development and feasibility study of a complex intervention: CHAT Final Report. doi: 10.3310/hsdr05100.

Ball, J., Day, T., Dall’Ora C., Rafferty A., Griffiths, P., & Maben J. (2017). Cross-sectional examination of the association between shift length and hospital nurses’ job satisfaction and nurse reported quality measures. BMC Nursing 16(26). doi: 10.1186/s12912-017-0221-7.

Donetto, S., Penfold, C., Anderson, J., Robert, G., & Maben J. (2017). Nursing work and sensory experiences of hospital design: a before and after qualitative study following a move to all-single room inpatient accommodation. Health and Place, 46, 121-129. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2017.05.001.

Maben, J., Taylor, C., Dawson, J., Leamy, M., McCarthy, I., Reynolds, E., Ross, S., Shuldham, C., Bennett, L., & Foot, C. (2017). A Realist informed mixed methods evaluation of Schwartz Center Rounds in England. First look summary report.

Robert G., Philippou J., Leamy M., Reynolds E., Ross S., Bennett L., Taylor C., Shuldham C., & Maben J. (2017). Exploring the adoption of Schwartz Center Rounds as an organisational innovation in England to improve staff wellbeing in England 2009-2015. BMJ Open, 7(1)1-10. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014326.

Sarre, S., Maben, J., Aldus, C., Schneider, J., Wharrad, H., Nicholson, C., & Arthur, A. (2017). The challenges of training, support and assessment of healthcare support workers: A qualitative study of experiences in three English acute hospitals. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 79, 145-153. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2017.11.010.

Taylor, C., McCance, D.R., Chappell, L., Nelson-Piercy, C., Thorne, S.A., Ismail, K.M.K., Green, J.S.A., & Bick, D. (2017). Implementation of guidelines for multidisciplinary team management of pregnancy in women with pre-existing diabetes or cardiac conditions: results from a UK national survey. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, 17(1), 434. doi: 10.1186/s12884-017-1609-9.


Research theme leads

Jill Maben profile image

Professor Jill Maben

Professor of Health Services Research and Nursing

Cath Taylor profile image

Dr Cath Taylor

Professor of Healthcare Workforce Organisation and Wellbeing

Research theme members

Placeholder image for staff profiles

Dr Eunice Aroyewun

Research Assistant

Placeholder image for staff profiles

Dr Eunice Aroyewun

Research Assistant

Carys Banks profile image

Dr Carys Banks

Research Fellow

Carin Magnusson profile image

Dr Carin Magnusson

Lecturer in Health Services Research

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Dr Jose Marcano-Belisario

Research Fellow in Digital Health

Evie Papavasiliou profile image

Dr Evie Papavasiliou

Research Fellow

Alison Smith profile image

Alison Smith

Senior Teaching Fellow Integrated Care (Mental Health), Lead for Student Wellbeing

Magdalena Zasada profile image

Dr Magdalena Zasada

Research Fellow in Workforce Organisation and Wellbeing

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