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Professor Davina Allen

Professor Davina Allen

Head of Research and Innovation

School of Healthcare Sciences

Email
allenda@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 206 88561
Campuses
Room 13.08, Eastgate House, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0AB
Comment
Media commentator
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

Overview
I am a sociologist and nurse academic with an international research profile in nursing, healthcare work organisation and service improvement.    
I have expertise in ethnographic research methods and the use of sociological theories in advancing the science of improvement in health and social care.  
My research includes foundational ethnographic studies of organisational phenomena, a long-standing programme of research on nursing work, and large-scale applied research projects.  This includes work at the forefront of new approaches to evidence synthesis, methodological advances in the development, implementation and evaluation of theoretically informed complex interventions, and theory development.  
I am currently Head Research & Innovation (HCARE),  Professor II (Care Centre NTNU, GjØvik, Norway), Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Canada, and Editorial Board member of Journal of Health Services Research and Policy
I am a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Health Foundation Improvement Science Fellow.
Current Projects

I led the recently completed (November 20919) PUMA Study; a large scale NIHR funded, prospective mixed methods before and after study of the development, implementation and evaluation of a programme to improve paediatric early warning systems.

I am leading the Pro-Judge Study, funded by the RCN Foundation, which is analysing the use of professional judgement in nurse staffing decisions.

I am leading the developing an evidence-based tool designed to capture the organisational components of nursing work (TRACT), funded by an ESRC Impact Accerlerator Account Award.

I am leading a project designed to develop an educational platform using the latest digital technologies to integrate into nurse education formal preparation for the organisational components of the nursing role.  

I currently writing an ethnography of transfers of care across the hip fracture pathway, based on research undertaken as a Health Foundation Improvement Fellowship.  

Find out more about my research on Translational Mobilisation Theory
Find out more about my research on nursing
https://theinvisibleworkofnurses.co.uk

Biography

I trained as a Registered General Nurse (1983-1986) Addenbrookes Hospital Cambridge, working in dermatology and mental health after qualification.   I returned to full-time education in 1987, and studied Sociology at the University of Nottingham.  After graduation I worked as a research assistant on projects led by David Hughes, this included a year reviewing ethnographic studies of healthcare organisations for a project funded by the King's Fund and Milbank Memorial Fund, and a empirical study of the potential for extended nursing roles, funded by South East Thames Regional Health Authority.   In 1993 I was awarded a full-time PhD studentship by the Department of Health (England) as part of a wider strategy to build research capacity in nursing, midwifery and allied health professions.  I undertook my doctoral study at the University of Nottingham, supervised by Professor Robert Dingwall and Professor Veronica James.   The research was an ethnographic study of the day to day negotiation of nursing role boundaries in a District General Hospital, which laid the foundations for an enduring interest in the social organisation of healthcare work.   I came to Cardiff in the final year of my PhD and was appointed Research Fellow in Cardiff School of Nursing in 1996.  In the intervening years I have worked with wonderful collegues and collaborators to grow a substantial programme of research on healthcare carework, fulfilled various leadership roles, and worked to build research capacity in nursing and allied health professions.  

Honours and awards

2018         Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta

2016         Professor II Centre for Care Research NTNU, GjØvik, Norway

2016         Fellow of Academy of Social Sciences

2016         Q Community member

2016         ‘Inside bed management’: Ethnographic insights from the vantage point of UK hospital nurses, nominated by Sociology of Health & Illness for Thinking Allowed Ethnography Award

2013         Health Social Care Wales Faculty Lead Researcher

2012         Best Developmental Paper, British Academy Management Conference, Cardiff

2011         Improvement Science Fellowship (The Health Foundation)

2003         ‘The Nursing-Medical Boundary: A Negotiated Order?’ (1997) Sociology of Health & Illness 19 (4): 498-520, in the top thirty high impact papers to be published in the first 25 years of the journal.

2001         ‘The Nursing-Medical Boundary: A Negotiated Order?’ (1997) 19 (4): 498-520 - nominated by Sociology of Health & Illness for the American Sociological Association Medical Sociology Group Eliot Freidson Outstanding Publication Award.

1998         Sociology of Health & Illness ‘New Writer’s Prize’ for: ‘The Nursing-Medical Boundary: A Negotiated Order?’ (1997) 19 (4): 498-520.

1991         University of Nottingham ‘Arthur Radford’ prize for undergraduate dissertation: ‘Nursing Discontent’

1987         University of Nottingham Undergraduate Exhibition

Professional memberships

British Sociological Association.

Academic positions

 

Present

Head of Research & Innovation

Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University

2016-

Professor II

Care Centre NTNU, GjØvik, University of Trondheim, Norway

2011-2014

Health Foundation Improvement Science Fellow

Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University

2004-2010

Professor, Research Director

School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, Cardiff University

2003-2004

Senior Lecturer, Research Director

School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, University of Wales College of Medicine

 

2002-2003

Senior Lecturer, Acting Research Director

School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, University of Wales College of Medicine

 

2001-2002

Senior Lecturer, Deputy Research Director

School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, University of Wales College of Medicine

 

1999-2001

Lecturer, Deputy Research Director

School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, University of Wales College of Medicine

 

1996-1999

Research Fellow

School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, University of Wales College of Medicine

1993-1996

PhD Student

School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham

1992-1993

Research Assistant

School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham

1992

Self Employed

Contracted to Bloomsbury Publishing

1991-1992

Research Assistant

School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham

1989

Staff Nurse (BNA)

Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield

1988

Staff Nurse (BNA)

The National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Queen’s Square, London

1987

Staff Nurse (BNA)

London Hospitals

1987-1991

    Undergraduate

University of Nottingham

1987

Staff Nurse (Mental Health)

Fulbourn Hospital, Cambridge

1986 -1987

Staff Nurse (Dermatology)

Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge

1983-1986

Student Nurse

Cambridge and Huntingdon School of Nursing

Speaking engagements

PLENARIES & KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS

    • Allen, D. (2019) The Invisible Work of Nurses, Annual Conference of the Norwegian Nurses Association Research and Education Interest Group, September
    • Allen, D. (2019) The opportunities and challenges of seeing things differently, Annual Conference of the Norwegian Nurses Association Research and Education Interest Group, September
    • Allen, D. (2019) Making Nurses’ Organising Work Count in Health & Social Care, Policy Forum for Wales: The Health Workforce in Wales: implementing the workforce strategy, planning for the future and protecting staff wellbeing, June, 2019
    • Allen, D. TRACT: Making Nurses’ Organising Work Count in Safe Staffing Decisions, Le Nouveaux Metiers de Coordination Des Parcours des Soins, Colloque ANFN-EHESP 14th March 2019.
    • Allen, D. (2018) The opportunities and challenges of seeing things differently, Annual Conference of the RCN Research Society, April, University of Birmingham
    • Allen, D (2017) Seeing things differently: organising work and nursing practice, EHESP conference on nurse navigators, Paris, November
    • Allen, D. (2017) Seeing Things Differently: Care Trajectory Management and Nursing Work, Norwegian Sociological Association Annual Conference, Trondheim, April 24th-25th.
    • Allen, D. (2016) Translational mobilisation: The invisible work of nurses. Norwegian Nurses’ Association 75th Anniversary Conference, Tromso, October 2016
    • Allen, D. (2016) Object lessons from the boundaries of healthcare, British Medical Association Medical Sociology Group Annual Conference, (Birmingham, September 7-9th)
    • Allen, D. (2016) Communication and coordination in healthcare: the invisible contribution of nurses, Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET) Conference (Aalborg, July 4-6th)
    • Allen, D., (2014) Rethinking holism for a sustainable professional future, ESRC Seminar Series, Nursing and Social Science
    • Allen, D. (2014) Rethinking holism, rethinking routines: stretching old labels for a sustainable professional future, International Philosophy in Nursing Conference, Nottingham, September
    • Allen, D. (2013) Nursing Orders: The Articulation of Healthcare, Plenary Paper given at the Florence Nightingale Foundation Annual Conference, London, February 28th
    • Allen, D. (2013) Nursing Orders: Articulating Healthcare, presentation given at Landspitali University Hospital Surgical Division Annual Scientific Meeting, Iceland, February 15th
    • Allen, D. (2011) Negotiating conflicting discourses of ‘adolescence’ in living with diabetes, In Sickness and in Health Conference, Odense Denmark
    • Allen, D. (2010) People, texts and contexts: Mediation and the practice of nursing care. Plenary Paper, International Philosophy and Nursing Conference, Banff, May 2010
    • Dingwall, R. and Allen, D. (2000) The implications of healthcare reforms for the profession of nursing An international symposium, ‘Mit der Pflege in der Zukunft’, at the Inselspital Bern Switzerland, August

    Committees and reviewing

    Advisory/Steering Groups

    • Advisory Board Member - ‘Beyond the Margins’, funded by the Alzheimer’s Society (Charlotte Clarke, University of Edinburgh) (2018-2021).
    • Advisory Group Member for RCN Strategic Alliance for Nursing Research
    • Invited participant in the seminar on healthcare cultures organised as part of phase II of the Public Inquiry into Paediatric Cardiac Surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Prepared two ‘points for discussion’ papers published in the final report (Kennedy 2001).
    • Advisory Group Member: Department of Health Policy Research Programme, commissioned study: Implementation, impact and costs of policies for safe staffing in acute trusts (University of Southampton, University of Bangor)
    • Steering Group Member: MENOS 4 Trial (Fenlon, University of Southampton)
    • International Advisory Panel: Revision of the Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence (SQUIRE) publication guidelines, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (US) and the Health Foundation (UK). (2013)

     

    Editorial Board Membership

    • Elected member of the Editorial Board for the Journal Sociology of Health and Illness (2000-2003). Judged “New Writers Prize” (2000-2003).  Re-elected (2003-2006).
    • Editorial Advisory Board Member (invited) Journal of Health Services Research and Policy (2012-2018)
    • Nominated and then elected member of the Publications Committee for Symbolic Interaction (2013-2014)
    • International advisory board for the Policy Press series on The Sociology of Health Professions: Future International Directions, Mike Saks and Mike Dent (editors) (2017-

    Journal Editorship

    • Co-editor Sociology of Health and Illness (October 2012-2018, awarded through a competitive process)
    • Co-editor (with Alison Pilnick) Sociology of Health and Illness Monograph – The Social Organisation of Healthcare Work (2005, awarded through a competitive process)
    • Co-editor (with Jeffrey Braithwaite, Jane Sandall and Justin Waring) Sociology of Healthcare Safety and Quality (2016 - awarded through a competitive process)
    • Co-editor (with David Hughes) The Francis Series, Sociology of Health and Illness Virtual Special Issue

    Research Grant Commissioning Board Membership

    • Welsh Office for Research and Development (social care) small grants committee (1998)
    • Welsh representative on the DOH COREC Panel to consider Student Research in NHS and Social Care (2002-2004).
    • Invited member of Nursing and Midwifery Commissioning Board subgroup of the National Co-ordinating Centre for NHS Delivery and Organisation Research and Development (NCCSDO) Programme (2006-2009)
    • NIHR-SDO Commissioning Board Member (2009-2011)
    • NIHR-HRDR Commissioning Board Member (2012-2015)
    • Canadian Institute for Health Research, Commissioning Board Member (2016)
    • French National Institute for Cancer Research, Commission Board Member (2015)
    • The Health Foundation selection panel for Institutional PhD studentships (2015).
    • The Health Foundation Cohort 4 Improvement Science Fellowship Peer Review Panel (2016)

    Peer Review

    • Referee for Journal of Sociology of Health and Illness; Social Sciences in Health; Health; Social Problems, Social Science and Medicine; Gender, Work and Organisation; Symbolic Interaction; Nursing Inquiry, Journal of Substance Use, Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, Lancet, Diabetic Medicine, International Journal of Nursing Studies, BMJ Quality and Safety, Journal of Nursing Management
    • Manuscript and book proposal reviewer for Routledge, Sage, Open University Press and Balliere Tindall
    • Referee for Welsh Office for Research and Development; NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme; The Health Foundation; Department of Health Nursing Fellowship Scheme; ESRC; Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council

    Publications

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    1997

    2021 - Development and evaluation of a digitised educational platform to address a gap in nurse education on preparation for the organisational components of the nursing role, ESRC, Impact Accelerator Account Award (Chief Investigator)

    2019 - Pro-Judge: An Ethnographic Examination of Nurses' Professional Judgement in Nurse Staffing Systems in England and Wales (Chief Investigator) - RCN Foundation 

    2019 - NIPT Wales: Understanding and improvng the new landscape of prenatal screening, Health and Social Care Wales (PI: Dr Heather Strange, co-applicant and mentor)

    2019 - The 'politics' of a changing institutional ecology: coodination, prioritization and labour in Norwegian health, care and welfare services, Norwegian Research Council (co-applicant)

    2018 - Workforce Behaviours in Healthcare Systems, THIS Institute (PhD studentship, with Professor Paul Harper)

    2017 - Cardiff University Health and Social Care Improvement Research Network

    2017 - Evaluation of Freedom to Speak up Guardians, NIHR HS&DR (PI: Dr Aled Jones)

    2017 - Evaluation of Cancer Care Pathways, Norwegian Research Council

    2017 - Feasibility and Acceptability of a new Clinical Pathway for the Identification of Non-Responders to Glaucoma Eye Drops (the TRIAGE study), NISCHR Research for Patient Benefit (PI: Prof Heather Waterman)

    2017 - Prioritizing Care: Emerging dilemmas in the Norwegian care service landscape (pricare), Norwegian Research Council

    2017 - One common ICT platform in the health care service: Interdisciplinary cooperation through shared journal information (PhD studentship), NTNU

    2017 - Exploring personal responsibility for infection prevention and antimicrobial resistance in acute and community hospitals (EMPEROR) PhD Studentship, KESS PhD studentship (With Prof Dinah Gould)

    2016 – Making Nurses’ Organising Work Count - ESRC, Impact Accelerator Account Award

    2015 - Improving Access to Care and Treatment for Patients with Hip and Knee Pain at the Primary/Secondary Interface, NISCHR RfPPB (PI: Dr Kate Button)

    2015 - An Actor Network Analysis of Patient Experience Data, NIHR HS&DR (PI: Sara Donnetto, Kings College London)

    2015 - An Evaluation of Alcohol Treatment Centres: Implications for Service Delivery, Patient Benefit and Harm Reduction,  NIHR HS&DR (PI: Prof Simon Moore)

    2014 - PUMA: Paediatric Early Warning System Utilisation and Mortality Allowance (Chief Investigator), NIHR HS&DR 

    2014 - Delaying institutionalization, sustaining families: Comparative case studies of care at home for older people with dementia, Canadian Institute for Health Research, (PI: Dr Christine Ceci)

    2013 - Lean, Agile or Leagile? A feasibility study to explore and compare the utility of pathway technologies, The Health Foundation Improvement Science Fellowship (Collaborator and mentor to Sharon Williams)

    2013 - Design, development and pre-piloting of The Parent Learning Needs and Preferences Assessment Tool (PLAnT): a mixed methods study in the 13 UK Children’s Kidney Units, Kids for Kidney,  (PI: Veronica Swallow, University of Manchester)

    2011 - Connecting for Service Improvement: Understanding departmental and organisational interfaces (Principal Investigator: Davina Allen) The Health Foundation

    2011 - The organising work of nurses (Principal Investigator: Davina Allen)

    2005 - The social organisation of ICP development: an ethnography (Principal Investigator: Davina Allen)

    2008 - 'Evidence into practice: evaluating a child-centred intervention for diabetes medicine management' (Principal Investigator: Anne Williams) NIHR Service Delivery and Organisation Programme  

    2007 - 'Mental health services in transition' WORD and The Health Foundation   (Principal Investigator: Ben Hannigan)

    2007 - 'Health, medicines and health-care choices made by children, young people and their carers' NIHR Service Delivery and Organisation Programme   (Principal Investigator: Anne Williams)

    2006 - 'The Transition from paediatric to adult diabetes services: What works for whom and in what circumstances?' NIHR Service Delivery and Organisation Programme  (Principal Investigator: Davina Allen)

    Supervision

    I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

    Past projects

    Ben Hannigan

    Health and social care for people with severe mental health problems: An ethnographic study

    Nicola Evans

    Exploring the contribution of safe uncertainty in facilitating change

    Judith Carrier

    Nurses’ use of evidence based guidelines in Primary Care

    Sue Taylor

    The research component of the consultant nursing role

    Moyra Journeaux

    Nostalgic constructions of nurse education: Sanitising the past or learning from the past: A discursive exploration

    Dominic Roche

    Involving patients in healthcare safety: a realistic evaluation