Professor Louise Locock

Professor Louise Locock

Professor in HSRU

Professor Louise Locock
Professor Louise Locock

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 438143
The University of Aberdeen Health Services Research Unit
University of Aberdeen
Room 204
2nd Floor, Health Sciences Building
AB25 2ZD


I joined the Health Services Research Unit in 2017, following 14 years in the Health Experiences Research Group, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, where I was Director of Applied Research. I am a qualitative social science researcher interested in personal experience of health and illness; patient-centred quality improvement and co-design; and patient and family involvement in research and care. A major recent focus of my work has been how we can better use different types of patient experience data to improve care.


PhD, Explicit rationing within the NHS quasi-market: the experience of health authority purchasers, 1996-97 London School of Economics 1998
M Phil, Comparative Social Policy University of Oxford 1995
MA, Modern Langauges (French and German) University of Oxford 1984

Memberships and Affiliations


Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team member and Institutional Athena SWAN Steering Group member


I am a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

I served as a Board Member for the National Institute for Health Research Health Service and Delivery Research programme from 2014 to 2019.



Research Areas


  • Health Studies
  • Health and Social Care
  • Social Policy

Research Overview

Patient and staff experience; quality improvement using patient experience data; patient and public involvement; experiences of research participation (particularly clinical trials and biobanking); qualitative methods; motor neurone disease and other neurological conditions; long term conditions; pregnancy and parenting experiences

Current Research

I am joint principal investigator with Prof Jen Cleland on a new mixed methods study from October 2020 on enhancing recruitment and retention of rural doctors in Scotland, funded by the Chief Scientist Office.

With Prof Craig Ramsay I am joint PI on ACORN (Asynchronous Consultation Research for the NHS), examining the role of asynchronous consultation methods in secondary care after COVID-19, funded by the Health Foundation from December 2020.

I am also currently working with Prof Judith Smith at the University of Birmingham on a study of narrative accounts of primary care practitioners in a time of Covid-19, with support from the Health Foundation.

As a co-investigator, I am involved in a study led by Prof Sue Ziebland, 'Experiences of COVID-19 and recovery: learning from polyphonic voices for communities, policy makers and health and social care providers'. This will investigate the experiences of people who experienced COVID-19, with particular emphasis on people from a range of minority ethnic backgrounds.

In 2018-19 I led a study based in NHS Grampian on how staff feel about and respond to online patient feedback on Care Opinion Scotland. A wider qualitative study on Care Opinion Scotland began in 2019 with a PhD studentship funded by THIS Institute, Cambridge, with PhD student Emma Berry.

I also supervise PhD student Jade Howard on the experiences of families with inherited motor neurone disease. The Motor Neurone Disease Association have awarded funding for 2019-21 to make interviews conducted as part of this PhD into a public resource on Healthtalk.

I am co-investigator on two Versus Arthritis studies which started in 2019, one on PAtient-centred Care for FIbromyalgia: New pathway Design’ (PACFIND), led by Professor Gary MacFarlane and one on Vasculitis (VOICES) led by Dr Rosemary Hollick. Both studies will also lead to new Healthtalk modules.

I am also co-investigator on several Oxford-led studies:

Bridging the translation gap between learning disability policy and practice in search of flourishing lives. NIHR Schhol for Social Care Research. (PI Sara Ryan)

Understanding and using people’s experiences of social care to guide service improvements:could an effective and efficient co-design approach be translated from health to social care? NIHR Health Service and Delivery Research (PI Sara Ryan)

SuMMIT-D: support through mobile messaging and digital health technology for diabetes. NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research (PI Andrew Farmer)

and a study in collaboration with the University of Leicester and THIS Institute, Cambridge on Developing a Visual Identification Method for People with Cognitive Impairment in Hospitals (DA VINCI).




Past Research

As Principal Investigator I recently completed the US-PEx project, a study funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Service and Delivery Research programme 14/156/06. This project aimed to get a better understanding of how NHS frontline staff use different types of patient feedback to improve health services and develop tools to help them make better use of these data.

I was also co-investigator on the INQUIRE project led by Professor John Powell at the University of Oxford on how the NHS can use online patient feedback.


My current supervision areas are: Applied Health Sciences.


Teaching Responsibilities

I am supervisor for three PhD projects, on:

The experiences of families living with inherited forms of motor neurone disease (Jade Howard)

NHS quality improvement and Care Opinion Scotland (Emma Berry)

The impact of waiting times on patients' lives (Elisabeth Kirchner)

I teach on patient and public involvement in research; qualitative methods; and using patient experience data for quality improvement.




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