Louise Locock (2000-2002)

Louise Locock, HSMC (2000-2002)I worked at HSMC in 2000-2002 as a Research Fellow in an unusual post set up jointly by HSMC and Dorset Health Authority.

I worked on NHS Modernisation and Quality Improvement. No sooner had I arrived than my line manager, Chris Ham, was seconded to the Department of Health as director of the Strategy Unit, working with Ministers on the reform of the NHS. So all my meetings with him were at Richmond House, with the buzz of politics and the chimes of Big Ben in the background. I could not have imagined a more direct route from research into policy - sometimes scarily so! As in: 'I've just shown your report to Alan Milburn'...

The work on modernisation gave me a glimpse of how patient narratives could change the debate about service redesign, and drew me into research into individual patient experiences. Since 2003, I have been at the Health Experiences Research Group at the University of Oxford, now as Deputy Research Director. After many years immersed in micro-sociological aspects of patient experiences, I am now coming full circle, exploring how re-analysis of our interview data can support patient-centred commissioning, NICE quality standards, and service improvement.

I am happy to be working on this with Glenn Robert at King's, who coincided with me at HSMC. It was research into NHS Collaboratives at HSMC that set us both on this path.