Chair in Health Services Research and Ethics


Contact Details

Telephone: +44 (0)1224 438146
Address: Health Services Research Unit, 3rd Floor Health Sciences Building, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD
Telephone: 01224 438146


Vikki Entwistle re-joined the Health Services Research Unit in 2013 as Professor of Health Services Research and Ethics.

Vikki started her academic career in health services research as a research fellow at the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York (1994-1998). She then joined the Unit on a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship relating to patients’ participation in treatment decision-making. Vikki spent 2003-2004 as a Harkness Fellow at Harvard School of Public Health developing work on patients’ contributions to healthcare safety. She worked in the Unit, as Senior Research Fellow then Reader, until September 2005 when she moved to the Social Dimensions of Health Institute at the Universities of Dundee and St Andrews as part of the Alliance for Self Care Research. She was promoted in 2007 to Professor of Values in Healthcare.

Vikki has served on various research/policy committees. She was Editor of Health Expectations from 2007-2010 and is currently co-co-ordinator of the International Network on Feminist Approaches to Bioethics.

Research Interests

In broad terms, my research is about values and ethics in health care delivery (including public health). I am interested in how the plural and sometimes competing perspectives and priorities of citizens, patients and health care providers can appropriately be integrated in policy and practice.

Some of my work relates to ideas about health care quality that are currently talked about as 'person centred care'. I'm particularly interested in the ways that concepts such as autonomy, paternalism, respect, health literacy, patient enablement, shared decision-making and support for self-management are understood, valued and reflected in practice, and in questions of how they can be related to the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health service provision. 

I use a variety of approaches, often using philosophy alongside careful investigations of practice and experience to generate insights that are practically and theoretically robust. I am currently exploring uses of capabilities approaches (approaches to thinking about quality of life or wellbeing) for conceptualising and evaluating public health and social care policy and practice.

I am always willing to discuss potential PhD supervisions and postdoctoral mentoring arrangements within these broad areas. Please contact me at the e-mail address shown above or enquire at the Graduate School 

Current Research

I collaborate on a range of projects. Two projects that I am currently enjoying leading are:  

The Health Foundation funded Concept:SSM project. This is being conducted in collaboration with colleagues from King's College London and the University of York. It aims to develop more practically relevant and ethically appopriate ways of thinking about how health and social care staff can help people to manage and live well with long term conditions. 

An NHS Grampian funded project to explore health professionals' experiences of, and views about, sharing health care decisions with adults with learning disabilities. This project is closely linked to Anna Sierawska's doctoral studies, which I am supervising.


Teaching Responsibilities


PU5528 Values and ethics in public health (joint course co-ordinator with Becky Brown)

This course will run for the first time from January 2017. It is being offered both as an elective option within the new MPH (Masters of Public Health) programme and as a standalone course that might also suit qualified public health practitioners looking to extend their skills by engaging with the latest developments in public health ethics. To that end, the 'on campus' components, with face to face interactions with teaching staff and fellow students, will be delivered in six 'intensive' one day sessions.  



PH1027 Controversial questions (covering "Should the state fund fertility treatment?")

PH402D Philosophy dissertation (supervision on request)

PU5903 Public health nutrition research project (supervision)

PU5513 Public health research project (supervision)



SX1002 Health and wealth of nations 

PU5019 Qualitative health research (occasional lectures) 



SX1502 Health and wealth of nations

PU5019 Qualitative health research (occasional lectures)

Note about publication list

Please note that the publication list on this site is not complete - some pre-2010 publications, including editorials written for Health Expectations are not listed.

Educational qualifications

BA (hons) Theology and Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge 1986

MSc Information Science (Distinction), City University 1990

PhD Information Science, City University 1994

MA Philosophy (Distinction), Open University 2008

Social media

I use Twitter, though not particularly regularly. You can find me @entwistlev.


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