Workforce, Organisation and Wellbeing (WOW) research theme

Our vision in the Workforce, Organisation and Wellbeing (WOW) Research Theme 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)

Our studies

Some of our current studies include:

  • 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)

Current PhD studies

  • A realist evaluation of Schwartz Rounds in medical and healthcare undergraduate settings (Duncan Hamilton; supervised by Prof Jill Maben and Dr Cath Taylor)

Areas of interest for doctoral study

The Workforce, Organisation and Wellbeing theme welcomes approaches from people wishing to undertake PhD study here 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 Health Sciences, Postgraduate Research Directors if you are considering PhD study

Recent publications


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 Settings. SAGE 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 Study. Journal 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 them. The 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.

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School of Health Sciences
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30 Priestley Road, Surrey Research Park