The Lancaster University Work and Health Forum comprises academic staff, health professionals, policy leaders, local council leaders and local citizens.

  • Dr Alison Collins, Lecturer in Organizational Health and Wellbeing, Lancaster University
  • Maciek Dobras, PhD Candidate, Lancaster University
  • Professor John Goodacre, Professor of Musculoskeletal Science and Associate Dean for Engagement for the Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University; Honorary Consultant in Rheumatology, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust; and Medical Director, North West Coast Academic Health Science Network
  • Dr Harry Gray, Founder and Executive Chair, Grove Higher Education
  • Dr Paula Holland, Lecturer in Public Health, Lancaster University
  • Glyn Jones, Innovation Programme Manager, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust; and Innovation Scout, The Innovation Agency
  • Dr Jane Martindale, Extended Scope Physiotherapist and Therapy Research Lead, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust; and Honorary Research, Lancaster University
  • Karen Palmer, Clinical Research Nurse Manager, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dr Ana Porroche-Escudero, Research Associate, Lancaster University
  • Dr Allan Rennie, Senior Lecturer in Manufacturing Engineering, Lancaster University
  • Dr Rudresh Shukla, Academic Clinical Fellow in Rheumatology, Lancaster University
  • Karen Steadman, Research and Policy Manager, Health and Work Programme, The Work Foundation
  • Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves, Senior Lecturer in Design Interactions, Lancaster University
  • Jacqueline Winstanley, Chair, Fluidity (UK Forum for Hidden and Fluctuating Conditions)

Dr Alison Collins

Lecturer in Organizational Health and Wellbeing, Lancaster University

Dr Alison Collins has a background in occupational psychology and management and is interested in the area of organizational health and wellbeing.  Her research centres upon the implicit and explicit contracts employees have with their organization and employee social and work relationships. Her research has primarily been in the field of organizational health and safety, recent studies have included a mixed methods study examining presenteeism and its consequences on employee health and wellbeing and a qualitative study exploring the health and well-being benefits of conservation work for older volunteers. Previous research has explored issues surrounding homeworking and work-life-balance; shift work; accidents, fatigue and injury in the offshore oil industry; organizational culture; and leadership.

Maciek Dobras

PhD Candidate, Lancaster University

Maciek graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in Biomedical Sciences from Queen Mary, University of London in 2009 and then read for a postgraduate degree in Public Health at the University of Sheffield. After graduation (2011) he took up the post of a researcher at the Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine in Poland. He has worked as an expert in a number of public health projects as well as provided expertise for the EC. Towards the end of 2015 he benefited from a study visit to HIVA (Research Institute for Work and Society) at the University of Leuven (Belgium), during which he worked on a project concerning employers' willingness to invest in workers' health. His current research interest is sickness certification, though he is also interested in health literacy, as well as in participatory approaches to health at work.

In 2016 Maciek commenced a PhD (Lancaster University), sponsored by Arthritis Research UK and the Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work. His work is supervised by Professor John Goodacre and Dr Paula Holland and seeks to identify citizens' perspectives on sickness certification and the utility of the fit not during citizens' discussions about return to work with their employers.

Professor John Goodacre

Professor of Musculoskeletal Science and Associate Dean for Engagement for the Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University
Honorary Consultant in Rheumatology, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
Medical Director, North West Coast Academic Health Science Network

Professor John Goodacre believes there is an urgent need to understand better the complex relationships between work and health, and to develop better services and solutions for people with musculoskeletal conditions, as well as for people with other types of long term physical and mental health conditions.  The interdisciplinary strengths across Lancaster University, combined with an extensive array of skills, knowledge and experience within the local NHS and third sector, offer a timely and exciting opportunity for locally-led collaborations to drive important advances in this field.  Furthermore, Professor Goodacre's leadership role in the new national ARUK/MRC Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work, as well as  in the Innovation Agency - Academic Health Science Network for the North West Coast, will enable the Forum to readily connect and extend its research and innovation activities and outputs to larger regional and national networks.  

As such, this Forum provides a stimulating, powerful and distinctive platform for bringing together university staff and students with interests in this field, for planning and facilitating joint projects and other initiatives with partners in a range of public and private sector organisations, and for enabling the outputs of this work to make a significant difference to people with long term health conditions.

Dr Harry Gray

Founder and Executive Chair, Grove Higher Education

Harry Gray has spent a lifetime in higher education with experience in both the public and private sectors. Starting his career as a secondary school teacher his particular interest is in how adults learn and how they gain capability for dealing with later life. He has held visiting professorships at Salford and Chester universities in the UK and at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) in Toronto, Canada. For nine years he was a Higher Education Adviser to successive UK government departments dealing with employment and education. He is an authority on innovation in higher education and senior management development in universities

In 2010 Grove Higher Education (GHE) was set up as a private company offering a range of services in higher education in a global context using advanced contemporary approaches to mature learners.  The Grove NICHE programme was initiated in 2016 in association with the Centre for Age Research (C4AR) at Lancaster University to draw on the expertise of retired professionals and the university in socio-economic development. It functions as a research and development consultancy on short term assignments internationally.

Harry has written widely on education at all levels and edited several collections of papers on issues in policy and management in higher education. His academic interests are grounded in organisational psychology including stress, dysfunctionality and strategic leadership.

Dr Paula Holland

Lecturer in Public Health, Lancaster University

Dr Paula Holland's research focuses on the causes and consequences of social inequalities in health. In particular she is interested in the links between health and work: how working conditions and employment status affect health, and how chronic illness can adversely affect individuals’ ability to work. Underpinning both aspects of the health/work relationship is a concern with how socioeconomic position and occupation influence health and employment outcomes.  

Dr Holland is a co-investigator in the Arthritis Research UK/Medical Research Council Centre of Excellence for Musculoskeletal Health and Work, a consortium of 9 universities and partners whose work aims to find cost-effective ways of reducing work disability among people with musculoskeletal disorders. Her previous research has included qualitative research on the role of workplace adjustments and organisational policies in supporting the employment of people with musculoskeletal disorders; the analysis of Swedish register data to investigate social inequalities in employment and income among people with musculoskeletal disorders, ischaemic heart disease and mental illness; and the analysis of international datasets to explore social inequalities in labour market participation among disabled and chronically ill people in the UK, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Canada. 

Glyn Jones

Innovation Programme Manager, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
Innovation Scout, The Innovation Agency

Glyn Jones has 30 years of experience of enabling change in a range of industries through software, product and business development. For the last 2½ years he has been the Innovation Programme Manager at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (LCFT) where he has led on establishing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. He is one of The Innovation Agency’s Innovation Scouts and runs a monthly Innovation Breakfast bringing staff, academia and business together to support innovative projects. A recent success has been the securing funding to establish an NHS Innovation Test Bed in the North West which will evaluate supported self-care approaches for the frail and elderly and those with dementia leading to reduced hospital admissions. This Test Bed alliance is hosted by LCFT and includes the North West’s 2 NHS Vanguard Sites, Lancaster University and a range of commercial organisations led by Philips.

As a Community and Mental Health Trust, the area of Work and Health are of specific interest to LCFT both as a health and wellbeing service provider and a large employer, with over 6,500 staff. LCFT provide a range of Community Restart and Rehab services and an ongoing focus on Work and Health will inform those and new services.

Dr Jane Martindale

Extended Scope Physiotherapist and Therapy Research Lead, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust
Honorary Researcher, Lancaster University

Dr Jane Martindale currently works as an Extended Scope Physiotherapist and Therapy Research Lead at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust.   Since completing her NIHR Clinical Lectureship which was based at Lancaster University, in her honorary researcher capacity, she has continued to have an interest in musculoskeletal conditions and the impact that medical conditions have within the work place.  Her special interest is with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) and she recently presented a poster at the British Society of Rheumatology meeting which highlighted the many challenges people with AS face both before and following diagnosis within the work place. 

In Dr Martindale's clinical role she is increasingly aware that people have disclosure issues, and also hears in clinical practice many frustrations around a lack of understanding from colleagues and managers alike. She has co-written a chapter on the impact of AS on work productivity with Professor Goodacre which explores the paucity of our current knowledge around work issues in AS.  This has increased her interest in exploring the many ways that research in this field can have to identify and respond to the multifaceted challenges that people with musculoskeletal conditions face within their work place.

Karen Palmer

Clinical Research Nurse Manager, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust

Since starting work at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation two years ago, Karen Palmer has had the privilege of guiding a nationally recognized, award-winning nursing and AHP research team, with a shared philosophy to provide high quality care whilst delivering internationally renowned research in clinical specialities such as rheumatology, dementia and mental health. With over ten years’ experience, she has a wealth of knowledge in delivering both clinical physical and mental health research within the NHS landscape. Working for a community, mental health and wellbeing trust, she is keen to see how the Work and Health topic can help to cross over clinical specialities to improve the physical and mental health of service users particularly in relation to work.

Dr Ana Porroche-Escudero

Research Associate, Lancaster University

A feminist medical anthropologist working with Jennie Popay on an NIHR CLARHC NWC-funded project, Dr Ana Porroche-Escudero's research interests include health inequalities, women's health, critical health literacy, political economy of breast cancer and qualitative methodologies. At the heart of her research lies a concern with how women's narratives can be used 1) as an epidemiological tool to document health problems which often escape the gaze of clinical tests, and 2) as a tool to conceptualise complex phenomena such as contested illnesses.

Dr Porroche-Escudero's doctoral research on breast cancer used ethnographic methods to examine the social inequalities which arise from barriers to access to social and financial support in Spain, which won the prestigious Barbara Rosenblum Dissertation Scholarship awarded by Sociologists for Women in Society (2012). Her current research focuses on understanding the neglected links between breast cancer treatments and the experience of disability, unemployment and poverty. She weaves together women's accounts with a policy analysis and intersectional framework, and has found that the social values underlying the practice of biomedical organisations and social and health policies determine women's (lack of) access to employment and illness certificates, and impact upon their economic well-being. She has co-authored a chapter on this subject which will appear in a book she is co-editing on Breast Cancer and Feminism (January 2016). 

Dr Allan Rennie

Senior Lecturer in Manufacturing Engineering, Lancaster University

Dr Allan Rennie is a Senior Lecturer in Manufacturing Engineering and since 2002, has been Head of the Lancaster Product Development Unit within the Engineering Department, responsible for many of the Departments activities with industry and other external bodies. Dr Rennie has been an active researcher in the area of computer aided engineering and additive manufacturing (or “3D Printing”) since the mid-1990s, assisting in the formation of one of the UK’s first commercial additive manufacturing bureaux in 1995, when it was a relatively unknown technology. In recent years, and due to the widespread publicity and acceptance that additive manufacturing technology is gaining, Dr Rennie has seen the potential for these manufacturing techniques make their way into many sectors, but particularly in medical and healthcare applications where he has collaborated with colleagues in the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

Dr Rudresh Shukla

Academic Clinical Fellow in Rheumatology, Lancaster University

Dr Rudresh Shukla is one of the Academic Clinical Fellows appointed in Rheumatology in the North Western deanery and Lancaster University in August 2014. He have previously completed foundation training in South Thames Foundation School, after completing Graduate Entry Medicine from Imperial College London in 2012.

Dr Shukla's area of interest lies in studying the impact of inflammatory arthritis on work with particular interest in individuals with ankylosing spondylitis and how to improve their working lives. He is currently undertaking his Core training in the North Western deanery and is a member of the Royal College of Physicians.

Karen Steadman

Research and Policy Manager, Health and Work Programme, The Work Foundation

Karen Steadman leads the health and work research and policy programme at The Work Foundation.  Karen is a leading researcher specialising in chronic conditions and employment – exploring ways to improve employment outcomes for people with chronic conditions, in terms of seeking, retaining and progressing in work, and the way that the workplace influences employee health and wellbeing. Karen leads the Fit for Work UK coalition, a coalition of expert stakeholders looking at the relationship between chronic conditions and particularly musculoskeletal disorders and employment,  as well as the Health at Work Policy Unit, a programme of work designed to influence and improve workplace and working age health policy at a national, local and organisational level.

Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves

Senior Lecturer in Design Interactions, Lancaster University

Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves is a Senior Lecturer in Design Interactions at ImaginationLancaster, Lancaster University. He has been working in the co-design of digital tools in the areas of health, ageing and wellbeing; and is especially interested in designing for behaviour change through the use of playful artefacts and interactions that link the digital with the physical world.

Dr Tsekleves is currently working on research projects with people in the early stages of Dementia, with families of children with autism and in the area of public health on the design of playful interventions and interactions. He is a co-editor of the Ashgate Design for Healthcare book to be published in 2016 and blogs regularly for The Guardian and The Conversation on the design and use of technology in Health. 

Jacqueline Winstanley

Chair, Fluidity (UK Forum for Hidden and Fluctuating Conditions)

Jacqueline Winstanley is an internationally recognised expert in Diversity and Inclusion having a particular interest in developing and implementing organisational change frameworks and increasing Inclusive Economic Growth. Her interest in the Work and Health Forum stems directly from her own experience of developing a health condition whilst in work, and the journey she has travelled since.

Following an enforced career break after being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, sheer determination and a can-do attitude led Jacqueline to adapt her earlier work in the development of Inclusive Services to encompass Inclusive Economic Growth particularly considering workforce retention, and Inclusive Entrepreneurship particularly for disabled people. Her development of the Workforce Retention Programme 2009 has seen a reverse in the percentage of members of Fluidity who had previously found themselves out of work following a medical diagnosis, to a position where members are now remaining in employment or are moving into entrepreneurship as a real alternative to life on disability related benefits. This has led to a programme in the UK which introduces disabled people to the benefits of entrepreneurship.

A member of a number of advisory groups to the DWP in respect of the rights of disabled people to be supported in work, Jacqueline's solution based approach is gathering pace, particularly in respect of Inclusive Economic Growth.