Dr Kerry Allen

Kerry Allen

Health Services Management Centre
Associate Professor
Head of Education, School of Social Policy

Contact details

School of Social Policy, HSMC
Park House
University of Birmingham
B15 2RT, United Kingdom

Dr Kerry Allen is an Associate Professor at the Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham. With a disciplinary background in medical sociology, she is interested in applied research that improves health and care services, especially for people with complex needs or long term conditions. 

Her core research areas are: 

  • How people experience long-term conditions, self-management and decision-making
  • Renal service design and management
  • Quality measurement
  • Social care governance and integration

Research methods and their application to real world service settings are a key interest. Kerry has particular expertise in qualitative study design in health and care settings and co-produced design.


  • PG Cert in Academic Practice (2015) (with distinction, University of Birmingham Programme prize winner 2015)
  • Ph.D Medical Sociology, University of Leicester (2007) (Phil Strong Memorial prize for Medical Sociology winner 2007)
  • MSc Social Research, University of Leicester (2002) 
  • BSc (Hons) Sociology, University of Leicester (2001) (1st class) 


Before joining HSMC in March 2009, Kerry worked as a European research manager for Ecotec Research and Consulting (now Ecorys UK). In this role Kerry worked on health and equalities research for the European Commission. Prior to this Kerry completed her PhD in Medical Sociology at the University of Leicester, exploring the management of Prader-Willi syndrome within the context of the family.


Kerry is the education lead for the School of Social Policy, with a portfolio of programmes in social policy, sociology and criminology, social work and health services policy and management.

Explore Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses hosted by the School of Social Policy.

Postgraduate supervision

Kerry supervises a number of postgraduate research projects and is interested in supervising PhDs that focus on the following policy and practice areas:

  • social care governance
  • perspectives of people using care services
  • experience of illness and long-term conditions.

Kerry has methodological expertise in qualitative, mixed methods and participatory research methods


Current projects: 

  • Achieving closure? Improving outcomes when care homes close, NIHR
  • Inter-CEPt: Intervening to eliminate the centre effect variation in home dialysis use, NIHR
  • Intervening to eliminate the centre-effect variation in home dialysis use, NIHR
  • Renal treatment transitions, Baxter.
  • Exploring experiences of work for people with rheumatoid arthritis in India, UoB India Institute
  • Shifting Shapes: How can local Care Markets support quality for all? Department of Health
  • Decision making for the treatment of cancer in older people across the UK (2016)
  • Evaluation of the contribution of micro-enterprises to adult social care. Economic and Social Research Council
  • Finance directors’ perspectives on the impact of capital spending restrictions on service quality. The Health Foundation
  • Approaches to increasing the uptake of renal home therapies. West Midlands Central Health Innovation & Education Cluster
  • A study of acute children’s safeguarding activities. ‘Enhancing Safe Practice at the Interface between Hospital Services and Children’s Social Care’. National Institute for Health Research
  • Does smaller mean better? Evaluating Micro-enterprises in Adult Social Care. Economic and Social Research Council  
  • A study of acute children’s safeguarding activities. ‘Enhancing Safe Practice at the Interface between Hospital Services and Children’s Social Care’. National Institute for Health Research (2012)
  • Evaluation of case study sites for home therapies for people with chronic kidney disease, West Midlands Central Health Innovation and Education Cluster. (2013)
  • Local evidence in prevention for older people. National Institute for Health Research, School for Social Care Research. (2011-2012)
  • Models of medical leadership and their effectiveness. National Institute for Health Research, Service Delivery and Organisation. (2011-2012)
  • Scoping review on the research agenda for the future role of the third sector in delivering social care. National Institute for Health Research, School for Social Care Research. (2011-2012)
  • EU-funded research (DG Research, FP7) into long-term care for older people. Interlinks- Modelling the INTERfaces and LINKS between prevention, rehabilitation, quality of services and informal care. (2009-2012)
  • An evaluation of the modernisation of older people’s services in Birmingham. Birmingham City Council (2009-2011)
  • Review of Commissioning Across Government. National Audit office (2010)
  • Integrating Health and Social Care: a Rapid Review of Lessons from Evidence and Experience. Leeds City Council (2009-2010)
  • Study on the situation of women with disabilities in light of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. European Commission: DG Employment, PROGRESS (2008)
  • Ex-post evaluation of Socrates Programme. European Commission: DG Education and Culture (2008)


Recent publications


Allen, K, Burn, E, Hall, K, Mangan, C & Needham, C 2023, '‘They Made an Excellent Start…but After a While, It Started to Die Out’, Tensions in Combining Personalisation and Integration in English Adult Social Care', Social Policy and Society, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 172-186. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1474746422000392

Cooper-Stanton, GR, Gale, N, Sidhu, M & Allen, K 2022, 'A qualitative systematic review and meta-aggregation of the experiences of men diagnosed with chronic lymphoedema', Journal of Research in Nursing. https://doi.org/10.1177/17449871221088791

Needham, C, Allen, K, Burn, E, Hall, K, Mangan, C, Al-Janabi, H, Tahir, W, Carr, S, Glasby, J, Henwood, M & McKay, S 2022, 'How do you shape a market? Explaining local state practices in adult social care', Journal of Social Policy. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047279421000805

Tshimologo, M, Allen, K, Coyle, D, Damery, S, Dikomitis, L, Fotheringham, J, Hill, H, Lambie, M, Phillips-Darby, L, Solis-Trapala, I, Williams, I & J Davies, S 2022, 'Intervening to eliminate the centre-effect variation in home dialysis use: protocol for Inter-CEPt—a sequential mixed-methods study designing an intervention bundle', BMJ open, vol. 12, no. 6, e060922. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2022-060922

Jones, JE, Damery, SL, Allen, K, Johnson, DW, Lambie, M, Holvoet, E & Davies, SJ 2021, 'Renal staffs' understanding of patients' experiences of transition from peritoneal dialysis to in-centre haemodialysis and their views on service improvement: a multi-site qualitative study in England and Australia', PLoS ONE, vol. 16, no. 7, e0254931. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0254931

Ubhi, M, Dubey, S, Gordon, C, Adizie, T, Sheeran, T, Allen, K, Jordan, R, Sadhra, S, Adams, J, Daji, R, Reynolds, J & Kumar, K 2021, 'Understanding the impact of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus on work amongst South Asian people in the UK: an explorative qualitative study', Lupus, vol. 30, no. 9, pp. 1492-1501. https://doi.org/10.1177/09612033211022816

Jain, A, Aggarwal, A, Adams, J, Jordan, R, Sadhra, S, Dubey, S, Allen, K & Kumar, K 2020, 'Delay in seeking medical help in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis in India: a qualitative study', International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, vol. 23, no. 12, pp. 1707-1718. https://doi.org/10.1111/1756-185X.14001

Allen, K, Damery, S, Sein, K, Johnson, DW, Davies, S, Lambie, M, Holvoet, E & Combes, G 2020, 'How do patients and their family members experience the transition from peritoneal dialysis to incentre haemodialysis? A multisite qualitative study in England and Australia', Peritoneal Dialysis International. https://doi.org/10.1177/0896860820975596

Jones, J, Damery, S, Allen, K, Nicholas, J, Baharani, J & Combes, G 2020, '‘You have got a foreign body in there’: renal transplantation, unexpected mild- to- moderate distress and patients’ support needs: a qualitative study', BMJ open, vol. 10, no. 3, e035627. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-035627

Glasby, J, Allen, K & Robinson, S 2019, 'A game of two halves? Understanding the process and outcomes of English care home closures: qualitative and quantitative perspectives', Social Policy and Administration, vol. 53, no. 1, pp. 78-98. https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12412

Combes, G, Damery, S, Sein, K, Allen, K, Nicholas, J & Baharani, J 2019, 'Distress in patients with end-stage renal disease: Staff perceptions of barriers to the identification of mild-moderate distress and the provision of emotional support', PLoS ONE, vol. 14, no. 11, e0225269, pp. 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0225269

Hall, K, Needham, C & Allen, K 2019, 'Micro entrepreneurship in the care sector: motives, values and practices', Voluntary Sector Review, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 311–328. https://doi.org/10.1332/204080519X15738068469662

Allen, K, Needham, C, Hall, K & Tanner, D 2019, 'Participatory research meets validated outcome measures: tensions in the co-production of social care evaluation', Social Policy and Administration, vol. 53, no. 2, pp. 311-325. https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12468

Williams, I, Allen, K & Plahe, G 2019, 'Reports of rationing from the neglected realm of capital investment: responses to resource constraint in the English National Health Service', Social Science & Medicine, vol. 225, pp. 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.02.015

Commissioned report

Needham, C, Allen, K, Burn, E, Hall, K, Mangan, C, Al-Janabi, H, Tahir, W, Carr, S, Glasby, J, Henwood, M, McKay, S & Brant, I 2020, Shifting Shapes: how can local care markets support personalised outcomes?.

View all publications in research portal