Dr Kerry Allen

Kerry Allen

Health Services Management Centre
Departmental director of postgraduate research and international lead

Contact details

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

Dr Kerry Allen is a Lecturer at the Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham. With a disciplinary background in medical sociology and international experience of programme evaluation, she is interested in applied research that improves health and care services. 

Her core research areas are: 

  • long-term conditions, self-management and decision-making
  • the nature and measurement of quality
  • social care governance and integration
  •  care experiences of people with autism, learning disabilities and older people experience 

Research methods and their application to real world service settings are a key interest. Kerry has particular expertise in qualitative study design and mixed method policy evaluation.

Kerry is a Fellow of the National Institute for Health Research School for Social Care Research, and of the Higher Education Academy. She leads undergraduate and postgraduate modules in care quality and management.


  • 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.


MSc Health Care Policy and Management

Masters in Public Health

Healthcare Management and Leadership - Intercalated Degree

Degree Apprenticeships in Management and Leadership

Postgraduate supervision

Kerry is interested in supervising PhDs that focus on the following policy and practice areas:

  • social care governance

  • perspectives of people using care services (especially people with ASD, LD, older people)

  • experience of illness and long-term conditions.

She has methodological expertise in qualitative, mixed methods and participatory research methods.


Current projects: 

  • 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

Previous projects

  • 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)


Allen K, Needham C, Hall K, Tanner D. (2018) Participatory research meets validated outcome measures: Tensions in the co‐production of social care evaluation. Soc Policy Admin. 2018;1–15. https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12468

Glasby, J, Allen, K & Robinson, S (2018), 'A game of two halves?’ Understanding the process and impact of English care home closures: qualitative and quantitative perspectives' Social Policy and Administration. 

Glasby, J, Needham, C, Allen, K, Hall, K & McKay, S (2018), 'The Goldilocks Question: What Size is 'Just Right' for Social Care Providers?' International Journal of Care and Caring, vol 2, no. 1, pp. 65-87. DOI: 10.1332/239788218X15187913719956 

Combes, G., Allen, K., Sein, K (2017) ‘How does pre-dialysis education need to change? Findings from a qualitative study with staff and patients’ BMC Nephrol. 2017; 18: 334. Published online 2017 Nov 23. DOI: 10.1186/s12882-017-0751-y

Needham, C., Allen, K. and Hall, K (2016) Micro-enterprise and personalisation: What size is good care? Bristol: The Policy Press

Combes, G., Allen, K., Sein, K., Girling, A. and Lilford, R. (2015) ‘Taking hospital treatments home: a mixed methods case study looking at the barriers and success factors for home dialysis treatment and the influence of a target on uptake rates’. Implementation Science, 10:148  DOI:10.1186/s13012-015-0344-8

Hall, K, Needham, C and Allen, K (2014), 'Grass Roots Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Micro-Enterprises in Social Care'. Paper for International Research Society for Public Management Annal Conference, Ottowa, Canada, April 2014.

Miller, R., Williams, I., Allen, K. and Glasby, J. (2014) Evidence, insight, or intuition? Investment decisions in the commissioning of prevention services for older people, Journal of Care Services Management, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1750168714Y.0000000027

Robinson, S., Glasby, J. and Allen. K (2013) ‘It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it’: lessons for health care from decommissioning of older people’s services’. Health and social care in the Community, DOI: 10.1111/hsc.12046.

Allen, K., Glasby, J & Rodrigues, R. (2013) ‘Joint Working Between Health and Social Care’ in Long-Term Care in Europe Improving Policy and Practice. Palgrave Macmillan. Editors: Leichsenring, K., Billings, J. & Nies, H.

Allen, K. & Glasby, J. (2012) ‘‘The billion dollar question’: embedding prevention in older people’s services – 10 ‘high impact’ changes’, British Journal of Social Work, Br J Soc Work (2012) doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bcs024, March 29, pages 1-21. 

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