Dr Herman Wheeler PhD,MA Law,MEd Psych,BEd Hons,PGD Law,DN(Lon),Cert Ed,RMN,RGN,RNT,AFBPsS,C.Psych,LLB(Hons)

Lecturer in Health Sciences, Medical Law & Ethics, Nursing Sciences & Psychology
Lead for Joint University of Birmingham & University Hospital Birmingham NHS (F) Trust Mentor Preparation Programme
Clinical link tutor to NHS Trusts


Contact details

Telephone +44 (0)121 414 3230

Fax +44 (0)121 414 3158

Email h.h.wheeler@bham.ac.uk

52 Pritchatts Road, Nursing
School of Health and Population Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Birmingham, B15 2TT


Dr Wheeler lectures in Health Sciences, Medical and Nursing Law & Ethics; Psychology and Professional Development, to undergraduate and post-graduate healthcare students, including nursing, medical and physiotherapy students, and supervises Masters and PhD Research.

He gained his PhD from the University of Birmingham in 1994. His doctoral research focused on Stress in nurses and midwives and the effects of nurses’ cognitive style on their construction & perception of Occupational Stress. Dr Wheeler has published widely on stress and other professional and academic issues in both academic and professional journals, and has written a number of chapters in edited books, the most recent being chapter 4, “Law and the older person” in: A. Hindle and A. Coates (Editors) Nursing Care of Older People, Oxford, Oxford University Press, Feb 2011.

Dr Wheeler’s latest book, Law, Ethics and Professional Issues for Nursing: a reflective and portfolio-building approach was  published in January 2012, by Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group in Oxford, London, New York and Canada. His current research is into the conceptualisation of patient-centred care by nursing and physiotherapy academics, managers and students. His current developing work/book is on Medical Law and Ethics for Medical Students. As his profile demonstrates Dr Wheeler is a versatile all-rounder with professional and academic distinctions/qualifications in a number of academic and professional disciplines.

Dr Herman Wheeler is a particularly enthusiastic and effective lecturer/tutor who students continuously evaluate as an ‘outstanding’ and ‘inspirational’ lecturer/teacher. He is currently Module Leader for Professional Development (a shared Nursing & Physiotherapy module) & Leads on the joint University of Birmingham/University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and NMC validated Mentor Programme for qualified clinicians. He has an extensive background in mental health and adult health care practice, education and management, having served at various levels in those disciplines as a clinical manager, Senior Manager, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Senior Education Manager and Head of Department of Open Learning in NHS Colleges of Nursing and Health Sciences & in other universities.


  • MA (Medical Law) 2003
  • PGD (Law) 2000
  • LLB (Hons) 1998
  • AFBPsS & Chartered Psychologist 1996
  • PhD (Stress in Nurses & Midwives & Cognitive Style influences on Occupational Stress Perception/Construction (University of Birmingham) 1994
  • MEd (Psychology, Advanced Experimental & Child Psychology, Research Methods and Design with Statistics) (University of Birmingham) 1986
  • B.Ed (Hons) (First Class) 1983
  • DN (University of London) 1977
  • Cert Ed (Credit) and RNT 1978
  • RGN 1975
  • RMN 1973


Dr Wheeler gained his RMN in 1973 and his RGN in 1975, quickly rising to Ward Manager in both those disciplines. He gained the University of London Diploma in 1977, specialising in medicine. He qualified as a Registered Tutor in 1978 and subsequently served and taught as a Tutor, Senior Tutor, Senior Nurse Education Manager, Head of Department of Open Learning in NHS Schools/ Colleges of Nursing and Health Studies in North Birmingham Health Authority, South Birmingham Health Authority, and Central Birmingham Health Authority based at the Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre, Birmingham. He held the post of Head of Open Learning jointly with University of Greenwich and Birmingham and Solihull College of Nursing and Health Studies 1989- 1994. During this time Dr Wheeler also held the position Hon Senior Lecturer with the University of Central England In Birmingham.

As a Senior Tutor in South Birmingham Health Authority from 1981 to 1986 Dr Wheeler led an academic and professional team of educators that won approval from the English National Board for Nursing, Midwifery & Health Visiting for one of only five nationally approved Registered Nurse pilot schemes. The programmes in this scheme were delivered jointly by his team of academics and healthcare profession tutors and clinical teachers from the Health Authority and academics from the University of Central England. That pilot scheme was instrumental in establishing the blue print for the UK Project 2000 nursing courses which laid the strategic foundation for the whole-scale move of Nursing Education into the UK Universityu/Higher Education Sector.

Dr wheeler gained first class honours in his BEd Hons degree and Distinction in the the Cert Ed from Birmingham University. In 1986 he gained his MEd (Psychology) in Psychology, Advanced Experimental & Child Psychology, & Research Methods & Design with Statistics from the University of Birmingham. He served as a full time Senior Education Manager, Senior Tutor and Senior Lecturer respectively at the Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre, Birmingham, educating and managing nurse education in the QE School of Nursing & Health Studies, Birmingham and Solihull College of Nursing and Midwifery, between 1982 and 1993. During this period Dr Wheeler developed a distanced Learning initiative with the University of Greenwich and was appointed Head of Department for Conversion and Open Learning, a joint University of Greenwich and Birmingham and Solihull College of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Studies initiative.

He gained his PhD from the University of Birmingham in 1994; specialising in Stress and Cognitive Style and the influence of cognitive style on the performance of nurses and midwives and on their construction of work occupational stress. He was appointed as an academic in The Medical School, University of Birmingham September 1994. During his tenure Dr Wheeler served as Senior Curriculum Tutor for the BNurs Hons Programme, Senior Curriculum Tutor for the Masters Degree Programme in Health Sciences & also served as Years 1, 2, 3 & 4 Year-tutor. Dr Wheeler also served as Lead for the Common Foundation Programme and Lead for the Adult Branch Programme. He is currently Lead for the Mentor Development programme (a joint initiative between the University of Birmingham and University Hospital NHS (F) Trust. Dr Wheeler also currently leads on the shared Professional Development Module for nursing and physiotherapy undergraduates. Herman has chaired the undergraduate Staff-Student Liaison Committee, the undergraduate and post-graduate Curriculum Development Committee (CDC) for the Masters Degree in Health Sciences. He has served on University Appeals Committees and as his Department’s representative on the Barnes Medical Library Committee. He has held lead responsibility for his department's recruitment and appointment of honorary lecturers. He has been clinical link tutor to a number of NHS Trust Hospitals in and outside of Birmingham, including the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Selly Oak Hospital and City and Sandwell NHS Trust.

As well as publishing chapters in a number of edited books Herman’s most recent book: Law, Ethics and Professional Issues for Nursing: a reflective and portfolio-building approach was published in January 2012 by Routledge Publishers.He also gives session lectures in healthcare Law and Ethics to students undertaking the Assistant to Physiotherapy programme at Bournville College. He has had a number of academic and research awards from e.g. The Nightingale Trust Fund Council & The Eric W Vincent Educational Research Trust.

He was appointed Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and made a Chartered Psychologist in 1996. He has taught psychology to healthcare students and undertakes psychological counselling of persons with stress. Dr Wheeler continues to work as an academic in the School of Health and Population Sciences, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham. He is Module Leader for the shared Professional Development 2 module between undergraduate physiotherapists and nurses; and Leader also for the Mentor Preparation Programme in Collaboration with University of Birmingham and UHB NHS (F) Trust. He also leads the Transition to Professional Practice module for final year underghraduates, whilst also teaches on the Psychology module, the Development as a Healthcare Professional module (physiotherapy and nursing) and the MBChB programme where he teaches Medical Law and Ethics to the medical students.


Teaching Programmes

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Wheeler has decided not to take on any more doctoral research students as he plans to retire at the end of the 2013-14 academic year. However, he continues to supervise Masters and Undergraduate research which are shorter programmes; whilst writing a new book on Medical Law and Ethics for Medical Students.



  • Law, Ethics and Professional issues in nursing- culminating in the book, “Law, ethics and professional issues for nurses and healthcare students”,   published Dec 2011
  • Patients’ perception of privacy & dignity whilst being in-patients in hospital wards
  • Construction of Patient-centred Care by Physiotherapy and Nursing academics, managers and students
  • Stress and cognitive style in health care professionals


Stress in nurses and midwives and the influence of cognitive style on nurses’ stress perception/construction.

The main emphasis of this work has been to identify the learning and cognitive styles of qualified nurses and midwives and to use this independent variable to assess how these health professionals conceptualise and construct occupational stress in relation to their work and private lives.

Important findings from this research suggest that qualified nurses & midwives at staff nurse/staff midwife level and above (in Mental Health Nursing, Adult Branch Nursing and Learning Disability Nursing), and Midwifery fall on a cognitive style measure that puts them either at the imagery or verbaliser end of the imagery-verbaliser cognitive style spectrum. Those two dimensions further broken down into two sub-dimensions of  Wholist-analytic’ and ‘Verbal-imagery’, revealed interesting findings suggesting that (a) most ward managers, as opposed to staff nurses, are verbalisers, whereas staff nurses tend to be imagers; (b) wholists-analytics interact significantly with nursing type to have an effect on stress, with wholist least stressed as psychiatric (mental health) nurses; (c) on ‘job satisfaction’, wholists are more satisfied as mental health nurses and analytics as adult or general nurses; (d) verbalisers tend to have higher clinical grades than imagers and for those in the higher grades verbalisers report less stress than imagers, whereas for those in the lower grades, imagers report higher levels of job satisfaction than verbalisers; (e) people in the middle of the spectrum, ‘bimodals’ report the least likelihood of remaining in nursing; (f) some crucial stress factors came to light in both nursing and midwifery.

Patients perception of dignity and privacy in hospital wards

Dr Wheeler supervised this resaerch carried out by senior staff from a local NHS Trust. Findings so far from this research can be read from:

Whitehead, J & Wheeler, H (2008a) Patients’ experiences of privacy & dignity. Part 1: Review of the literature, Br J of Nursing, 2008.Vol 17, No 6, pp 381-385;

Whitehead, J. & Wheeler, H. (2008b) Patients’ experience of privacy & dignity, Part 2: An empirical study, Br Journal of Nursing, 2008, Vol 17, No 7, pp458-464.

Educating for patient-centredness; perceptions of nursing and physiotherapy students, managers and academics.

This ongoing research is in collaboration between Dr Wheeler and Dr C Roskel from the University of Birmingham and Dr V Cross and Mr Paul Watters from the University of Brighton. The first leg of the research, the students’ views have been the subject of a number of seminar and conference presentations, most prominent amongst them, a conference presentation at The Association of Medical Educators (Europe) Conference, in Malaga, Spain, 29th August to 2nd September 2009, Conference ref Amee 2009, International association of Medical Education, 10X15.

Other activities

  • Sessional Lecturer on Bournville College’s Assistant to Physiohterapy programme
  • Advisor to the Nursing Association of Jamaica, UK, division.


(Selected Publications)

Wheeler, H (2011) Law and the older person, Chapter 4 in: Hindle, A. and Coates, A. (Editors) “Nursing care of older people”, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Roskell, C.A; Wheeler, H.H; Cross, V & Watters, P. (2009) Educating for patient-centredness: perceptions of nursing and physiotherapy students, Presentation at The Association of Medical Educators (Europe) Conference, Malaga, Spain, 29th Aug -2nd Sept, 2009, (Conf. Ref. Amee 2009, International Association for Medical Education, 10X15).

Whitehead, J & Wheeler, H (2008a) Patients’ experiences of privacy & dignity. Part 1: Review of the literature, Br J of Nursing, 2008.Vol 17, No 6, pp 381-385;

Whitehead, J. & Wheeler, H. (2008b) Patients’ experience of privacy & dignity, Part 2: An empirical study, Br Journal of Nursing, 2008, Vol 17, No 7, pp458-464.

Wheeler H (2011) Text Book: Law, ethics and professional issues for nursing: a reflective and portfolio-building approach, Oxford, London, New York and Canada, Routledge, Taylor and Frances Group.

Wheeler, H.H., Cross, V. & Anthony, D.,(2000) Limitations, Frustrations and Opportunities:A Follow-up study of nursing graduates from the University of Birmingham, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 32(4), 842-856, October 2000

Riding, R.J. & Wheeler, H.H. (1995) 'Occupational Stress and Cognitive Style in Nurses' (1); British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 4 No.2, pp. 103 107;

Riding, R.J. & Wheeler, H.H. (1995) Occupational Stress & Cognitive Style in Nurses’(2),British J. Of Nursing (1995) Vol.4. No.3, pp. 160-168.

Wheeler, H. H. (1997)A review of nurse occupational stress research: 1, British Journal of Nursing, 1997, Vol. 6, No.11., pp.642-645.

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