Professor McHale has written several monographs and textbooks in the area of health care law. Her first monograph Medical Confidentiality and Legal Privilege was published by Routledge in 1993. The second edition of her textbook Health Care Law Cases and Materials with Marie Fox (Sweet and Maxwell) and the third edition of her textbook Law and Nursing with John Tingle (Butterworth Heinemann) were both published in 2007. She is also a co-editor and contributor to two major volumes of essays for Oxford University Press, Principles of Mental Health Law (1st edition) (with Peter Bartlett, Larry Gostin, Phil Fennell and Ronnie MacKay) 2010 and Principles of Medical Law (3rd Edition) (with Andrew Grubb and Judy Laing) 2010. She has published papers in wide range of legal and health care professional journals. She has given invited papers at numerous conferences and seminars to legal, health care professional and policy audiences.
Her current research is focused around several areas. First, health law and the EU. She is currently writing a new monograph European Health Law for Cambridge University Press with Professor Tamara Hervey of the University of Sheffield which takes forward on-going research interests in this area which formed the basis of Hervey and McHale Health Law and the EU CUP published in 2004. Secondly, the legal regulation of health research. Thirdly, mental health and mental capacity.
She was one of the academic directors of the third Birmingham Policy Commission "Healthy Ageing in the C21st." See further her podcast with the University of Birmingham Ideaslab about the policy and political implications of healthy ageing in the UK and the Commission website.
- AHRC Research Network Award " The Changing Requirements of Beauty: Concepts, Norms and Regulations". Co-applicant with Professor Heather Widdows 2015-6.
- Wellcome Trust Conference Award 2014 "A Critical Exploration of Global Public Health" Principal applicant with Dr Sheelagh McGuinness, co-applicant.
- AHRC Research Networking Award “The Influence of Faith and Belief on the Formulation, Content and Operation of Health Law in the United Kingdom” with colleagues from Universities of Birmingham, De Montfort, Leicester, Nottingham and Nottingham Trent. 2013-4.
- Wellcome Trust Conference Award 2011“Regulation and Professionalisation in Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Concerns” (Principal applicant with Dr Nicola Gale co-applicant)
- Modern Law Review Seminar Series award “Health Law, Faiths and Beliefs: New Dilemmas: New Perspectives” £2500 (with Dr Kola Abimbola) 2006"
- ESRC, Childhood cancer tissue donations: a gift relationship?" funded by the ESRC (2004-7). (PI Professor Mary Dixon-Woods, University of Leicester. I was a coapplicant and a member of a research team which included C. Seale, B. Young, K. Pritchard-Jones, M. Tobin, D.Heney, and M. Habiba.
- British Academy (2000) Travel award
- ESRC "NHS Contracts, from Legal Concepts to Operational Reality” ESRC (1993-1996) "Contracts and Completion Initiative". Co-applicant with Professor David Hughes, University of Swansea)
- Kings Fund Institute 1992-4 with Professor Robert Dingwall , University of Nottingham, “Organ Donation: A Question of Give and Take”