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Health & Social Care Research Across North East & North Cumbria.

Health Services Research

Meet the Team

Health services research oversees the research into the development of new services in healthcare settings, with a focus on testing new ways of delivering care to patients and assessing better ways to collect the data from patients who have been kind enough to complete the patient experience surveys.

Other areas of focus include the exploration of new ways to organise the NHS and social care services to improve patient outcomes and subsequently trying new methods of sharing knowledge and evidence through health services.

While health services research is a clinical discipline in its own right, it provides support to all other specialties where there is an element of ‘service’ to the research being delivered.

Justine Smith

Senior strategic manager

CRN North East and North Cumbria

Professor Yitka Graham

Health services research specialty group lead

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

Justine Smith's research experience

I’m a senior strategic manager in the Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria. I lead communications, patient and public involvement and engagement for the Network, and am the management lead for health services research. I also support creating a culture of continuous/quality improvement in the network.

I have worked in research since I graduated in biomedical science in 1993! I worked in a hospital research lab to start with, then became a research assistant (similar role to a research nurse), then trial coordinator and eventually ran an academic trials unit. I have been with the NIHR since 2008, helping set up research governance systems, improvement processes and now leading on engagement.

I am interested in service co-design, organisational development, and inclusion of under-served communities in research including care home residents, people with learning disabilities and those living in disadvantaged areas.

Connect with Justine Smith

Email Justine

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Find Justine on LinkedIn

Professor Yitka Graham's research experience

I am the head of the Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute and professor of health services research at the University of Sunderland. I have been involved in research for 12 years. My research interests are bariatric surgical care, the stigma of obesity, diabetes and other health conditions, social prescribing and health and care workforce issues.

Connect with Professor Yitka Graham

Email Yitka

How to get involved


Visit the national specialty page here

Utilise our toolkit

Visit the Health Services Research Toolkit for guidance and support in the delivery of your study

Join our community of practice

If you have an interest in Health Services Research, join the community of practice or speak to Yitka or Justine

Are you interested in addressing health inequalities?

Take a look at the funding opportunities in Global Health Policy and Systems Research. The funding calls for this research have been designed to directly and primarily benefit those in low and middle income countries.

Contact the Applied Research Collaboration