Transformative Innovation in Health and Social Care

Professors Thilo Kroll and Huw Davies, Co-Directors of SDHI along with colleagues

Dr Margaret Hannah, Director of Public Health, NHS Fife
Professor Vikki Entwistle, Health Services Research Unit, University of Aberdeen
Professor Brendan McCormack, School of Nursing, Queen Margaret University
Professor Belinda Dewar, University of the West of Scotland
Graham Leicester, Director, International Futures Forum
Nicola Gray, Programme Manager, Scottish Improvement Science Collaborating Centre

have been awarded funding from the Scottish Universities Insight Institute (SUII) for a project entitled Understanding, forming and fostering a culture of transformative innovation in health and social care

This proposal focuses on the kinds of transformative innovation that are needed within services and communities to address pressing concerns about the appropriateness and sustainability of health and social care provision across whole populations. It brings together leading Scottish and international thinkers and practitioners from three key areas of research and practice development, and provides a structured but flexible programme within which they can generate synergistic insights into the conditions that can enable the kinds of cultures of transformative innovation that could foster the provision of health and social support consistent with the best aspirations of humanity.

The three areas of practice and development that underpin the programme are: (1) Fifth wave thinking (ideas oriented to deal with the contemporary challenges of public health for which previous major developments in public health are proving insufficient); (2) Person-centred care (a cluster of ideas about both what is humane and morally appropriate in health and social care provision and how people can contribute to their own health and wellbeing); and (3) Transformation (studies of transformative rather than less radical or far-reaching forms of innovation).

Building out from existing collaborations within the three areas, programme partners and participants have been drawn from universities and from state and third sector policy leaders and health and social care providers. Supported by a strong commitment particularly from the International Futures Forum, a series of webinars and workshops will enable a sharing of current understandings and perspectives and facilitate fresh, multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral conversations oriented both to understand and promote positive transformation both during and beyond the span of the programme.

The objectives of the proposed work are:

  1. Create the space for creative and productive cross-boundary and inter-disciplinary ‘facilitated dialogue’ to scope out the relevant bodies of work and strands of thinking that can underpin transformative innovation in health and social care and public health;
  2. Build a cumulative vision of the relevant organisational and system features of transformation-enabled public services around population health and care;
  3. Map a series of actions for key influencers within the system that may help to bring about the conditions for transformation capacities and capabilities;
  4. Define the means by which we can develop an assessment of the progress towards building such transformative capacities and capabilities;
  5. Create an action-focused research agenda to provide a better evidence base for the underpinnings of transformation through innovation in health and social care and public health.
  6. Prompt the emergence of new collaborations that can take forward investigations and actions in support of both research and transformative change.

Sensory Impairment & Pharmaceutical Care – Project Launch

SIPA logo 4SDHI led research project ‘Sensory Impairment and Pharmaceutical Care – what are
the needs of older people receiving polypharmacy?
’ which began in October will be holding a first Advisory Group Meeting in Inverness tomorrow, 11th December.  The project’s PI – Professor Thilo Kroll and Research Associate, Dr Kirsty Killick (SDHI) will be joined by project members Dr Mags Watson (University of Aberdeen), Drs Leah Macaden, Annetta Smith and Kath Stoddart (University of Stirling) along with members of the Advisory Group from Royal National Institute of Blind People, Sight Action – Highland Sensory, Action on Hearing Loss, NHS Tayside, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Community Pharmacy Scotland, and representatives including older people with sensory impairments and their carers.

The aims of the project are

  • to explore the pharmaceutical care needs including medicines management of older people with sensory impairment who have to manage more than one health condition and more than four different medicines
  • to study how community pharmacists provide pharmaceutical care to older people with visual and/or hearing loss

Further information about this study can be found here

PhD Studentships: exploring research-informed service change in the Scottish NHS

Funded PhD opportunities are available, hosted jointly by The Scottish Improvement Science Collaborating Centre (SISCC), the Research Unit for Research Utilisation (RURU), and The Social Dimensions of Health Institute (SDHI) at the Universities of Dundee & St Andrews. These studentships (fees plus stipend at Research Council rates) are to explore aspects of research-informed change in the Scottish NHS. More details can be found here or through links at and

PhD Studentships: exploring research-informed service change in the Scottish NHS

Funded PhD opportunities are available, hosted jointly by The Scottish Improvement Science Collaborating Centre (SISCC), the Research Unit for Research Utilisation (RURU), and The Social Dimensions of Health Institute (SDHI) at the Universities of Dundee & St Andrews. These studentships (fees plus stipend at Research Council rates) are to explore aspects of research-informed change in the Scottish NHS. More details can be found here or through links at, and

“Managing doctors, doctors managing: Troubled relations at the heart of the NHS” A blog post by Huw Davies

Huw Davies, Co-Director of SDHI of Professor of Health Care Policy and Management at the University of St Andrews. is engaged in Nuffield Trust funded work on NHS management and culture on the back of the Francis inquiry and report into the failures of care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. Read about Huw’s insights and views in a recent blog post on the Nuffield Trust website.

Shared Knowledge Hub – Working together to tackle homelessness and poverty in Dundee

Congratulations to Dr Fernando Fernandes, Senior Lecturer in Inequalities and SDHI member who will be leading a public engagement project (Shared Knowledge Hub – Working together to tackle homelessness and poverty in Dundee) to connect students at the University of Dundee with community organisations and service users in Dundee around poverty and homelessness issues. The project is supported by a grant from the Revealing Research Public Engagement team. SDHI will provide support for this project. This initiative illustrates the commitment to work with communities to achieve change and is in line with SDHI’s strategy ‘Connecting to transform lives’.

New Scottish Improvement Science Collaborating Centre

SDHI is pleased to be a core partner of the The Scottish Improvement Science Collaborating Centre – a Scotland-wide initiative to improve quality of patient care and ensure that world-leading research leads to impact across society. The multidisciplinary initiative has been received £3.25 million of funding for 5 years from the Scottish Funding Council, the Chief Scientist Office, The Health Foundation, and NHS Education for Scotland (NES). The Centre will be based at the University of Dundee but it will be a large-scale collaboration involving universities, health boards, local authorities, patients, carers, communities and advocacy groups. It will be led by the University’s Professor Mary Renfrew and Professor Dilip Nathwani from NHS Tayside.

Several SDHI team members will contribute to this effort, including Co-Directors Davies and Kroll and Dr Jacqui Morris.

The Centre’s partners include:

Universities – Dundee, Stirling, St Andrews, Aberdeen, Edinburgh Napier, Strathclyde, West of Scotland, Glasgow Caledonian, with support from Coventry, University College London and Ottawa.

NHS Boards – Tayside, Fife, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Highland, Lothian, Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Ayrshire and Arran

Third sector, patient, carer and community perspective – Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, Alzheimer Scotland, Ardgowan Hospice

National NHS – NHS Education Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Scottish Health Council, NHS National Service Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS 24, QI Hub

Local authorities – Perth and Kinross Council, South Lanarkshire Council

Scottish Government – Quality Unit

Private sector – Scottish Care

International improvement science partners – Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Boston, USA, Qulturum Center for Learning and Innovation in Healthcare, Jönköping, Sweden

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) SFC is responsible for allocating public funds to colleges and universities in support of Scottish Government priorities. SFC’s funding contributes towards the costs of learning and teaching, skills development, research, innovation and other costs such as staff, buildings and equipment in Scotland’s 19 universities and 25 colleges

The Chief Scientist Office (CSO) is part of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates. It supports and promotes high quality research aimed at improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of services offered by NHSScotland and securing lasting improvements to the health of the people of Scotland

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is NHSScotland’s national education and training Board. They are responsible for supporting NHS services to the people of Scotland through the development and delivery of education and training for all those who work in NHSScotland. They also work closely with a range of partners to deliver its vision of Quality Education for a Healthier Scotland

The Health Foundation is an independent charity working to improve the quality of healthcare in the UK. It wants the UK to have a healthcare system of the highest possible quality – safe, effective, person-centred, timely, efficient and equitable. The Health Foundation believes that in order to achieve this health services need to continually improve the way they work. They inspire and create the space for people to make lasting improvements to health services. They also conduct research and evaluation, put ideas into practice through a range of improvement programmes, and develop leaders and share evidence to drive wider change

In the following months, we will bring you regular updates of the new Centre’s work.

New Researcher Post in Knowledge Transfer Project Available

Suitable for anyone with a recently completed MSc in a relevant area

KTP Associate – Improving the Response to Energy Disruption for Vulnerable People in Extreme Weather Events

University of Dundee & Scottish and Southern Energy, Perth

Salary: £22,000 – £24,000 per annum

Duration: 30 months

An exciting opportunity has been created for a self-motivated, enthusiastic graduate in a social science or environmental science discipline, with high level communication and social skills. You will be employed by the University of Dundee as a KTP Associate to work on a 30 month strategic project with Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE).

You will be responsible for enhancing SSE’s current response to the impacts of energy disruption on vulnerable people in local communities as the result of extreme weather events, in Scotland and southern England. You will be working within the Network Management Centre at SSE in Perth, with support and regular contact from staff at the University of Dundee.

Summary of Skills, Experience and Qualifications
You should hold a Masters level degree in geography, environmental science, social psychology, sociology, community development or other relevant social science discipline. You should have experience of qualitative research skills, including interviewing, focus groups and, if possible, participatory methods. In addition, you should have some experience of engagement with stakeholders in the private, public and/or voluntary sectors. You should be an excellent communicator, have very good organisational skills, the ability to work independently and within a team, and a willingness to travel within Scotland and southern England.

Any Additional Information
A great package is on offer, including a management diploma, substantial training budget, and the opportunity to register for a higher degree, travel expenses and the opportunity to present your work at conferences.

For informal discussion please contact Dr. Ed Hall (01382 388073; ); Professor Thilo Kroll (01382 348655;; or Mr. David Colthart (01738 455894;

For full details go to 

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)

Home not Housing – Newly Funded Workshop Series

SDHI is delighted to be a partner of a new workshop series funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute on the personal and environmental aspects of well-being. The initiative, entitled ‘Home not Housing: Engaging with Wellbeing Outcomes’ is led by Professor Deborah Peel, who holds a Chair in Architecture and Planning at the University of Dundee. Details about this exciting interdisciplinary knowledge exchange initiative can be found on the Scottish Universities Insight Institute website. Apart from the University of Dundee and SDHI the programme involves partners at the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh as well as at Dalhousie University in Canada. NHS Lothian, the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS) and Shelter Scotland are also members of the immediate team. The proposed work connects with SDHI initiatives in the past years, such as CARE SPACE and symposia on wellbeing.