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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Debbie is a postdoctoral researcher and former senior lecturer in nursing. She has held teaching and training posts in the NHS and on undergraduate and postgraduate healthcare programmes, including as a course leader at the University of Brighton. Her academic qualifications include undergraduate qualifications in health and social welfare, a Master of Arts in the Social Sciences and a Post Graduate Certificate in Social Sciences Research Methods, all awarded by the Open University. Debbie is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Debbie has facilitated a prostate cancer support group since 2002 which is now part of the charity PCaSO Prostate Cancer Support Organisation based in the south of England. It is through this work she has developed a keen interest in patient and carer involvement and public engagement in the design and delivery of health and care services. In 2013, Debbie was awarded a teaching and learning and enterprise award by the University of Brighton for Excellence in Community Engagement. 

In 2019, Debbie completed her PhD at Brighton and Sussex Medical School in the Department of Medical Education. Sponsored by the Higher Education Academy, her thesis explored partnership working between service users and clinicians to commission and lead health and care services.  In particular, the features of effective service user - clinician engagement practice and how these can impact the design of health care curricula.


Research interests

Debbie has a long-standing interest in how people learn from experience and in the workplace, and how knowledge and skills can be acquired and recognised. This includes the lived experience of people and communities to inform health and care curricula content, teaching, assessment and evaluation.

More recently, Debbie's interests as a qualitative researcher have focused on co-production embedded within community development, social movements and resilience. Her fellowship work includes exploration of the co-productive element of engaging communities for the newer integrated care partnerships for health and care and the implications for social policy. Debbie's fellowship project, which is ESRC-funded and entitled 'Conceptualising patient and public engagement and involvement (PPEI) for commissioning and designing health and care services as situated learning' is part of the Centre of Resilience for Social Justice research portfolio. 

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Brighton and Sussex Medical School


Award Date: 13 Jun 2019

Master, The Open University

Award Date: 31 Dec 2006

Bachelor, The Open University

Award Date: 31 Dec 1997

External positions

External examiner, University of the West of England

1 Oct 200930 Sep 2013


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