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Sarah Beardon

Name: Sarah Beardon

Based at: University College London Department of Applied Health Research

Supervisors: Professor Rosalind Raine (University College London Department of Applied Health Research), Professor Dame Hazel Genn (University College London Faculty of Laws), Dr Charlotte Woodhead (University College London Department of Applied Health Research) and Dr Silvie Cooper (University College London Department of Applied Health Research)

Project title: Implementation of health-justice partnerships: Social welfare legal services in healthcare settings

Project summary: This project focuses on services that provide assistance with social welfare legal issues in healthcare settings, with the aim of supporting patients holistically and addressing the social causes and consequences of disease. This approach, also known as ‘health justice partnership’ has gained momentum internationally and has potential to influence public health. Examples from across the UK demonstrate a wide variety of service models that link up healthcare and legal support services; however, little is known about the implementation of these partnerships, what they are doing and achieving, how collaboration is taking place and what it takes to do this successfully.

This PhD investigation will examine different models of integrating healthcare and legal services, exploring the elements of this approach that determine successful collaboration and service outcomes. It will involve literature research, fieldwork and participatory workshops. Services from across England and Wales will take part as case studies, providing insight into the different approaches being taken and how these partnerships work in practice in different contexts. The results will contribute to understanding how partners in legal and healthcare services work together and what is being achieved by these collaborations.

Practice engagement: The study aims to generate knowledge that can contribute to practice in the delivery of health-justice partnerships. Professionals working in national charitable and policy organisations have been involved in shaping research priorities and questions, and will continue to be engaged as the project progresses.

Public engagement: Participants and knowledge users of this research are professionals working in policy and practice. Involvement activities will focus on members of staff working within national and local organisations in the healthcare and legal sectors. Members of these groups will be invited to contribute to the development of results and research outputs through taking part in participatory workshops. These activities will inform analysis and interpretation of results, as well as production of useable outputs to support practitioners in the field.

Sarah’s studentship is joint-funded by NIHR SPHR and the CLAHRC North Thames. Find out more about Sarah’s work.

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