Professor Louise Locock

Professor Louise Locock
Professor Louise Locock
Professor Louise Locock


Professor in Health Services Research

Email Address
Office Address

Health Services Research Unit
University of Aberdeen

Room 204

2nd Floor, Health Sciences Building
AB25 2ZD


School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition


I joined the Health Services Research Unit in 2017 as Professor in Health Services Research. Previously I spent 14 years with 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; patient and family involvement in research and care; remote and rural healthcare. A major recent focus of my work has been how we can better use different types of patient experience data to improve care.

As of January 2024 I am now partially retired, and will mostly be working on Wednesdays and Thursdays only



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

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

School Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee member

School Patient and Public Involvement working group member

External Memberships

Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences

Member of the MND Association Healthcare Research Advisory Panel




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; rural and remote health

Research Areas

Applied Health Sciences


Research Specialisms

  • Health Studies
  • Health and Social Care
  • Social Policy

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

From 2024-2029 I am co-investigator on a new interdisclinary programme grant funded by the Chief Scientist Office, Building Rural-Urban healthCare Equity for Scotland (BRUCES) – a multi-methods research programme in cancer, musculoskeletal health and frailty. The programme is co-led by Prof Peter Murchie and Dr Rosemary Hollick; I will be co-leading the qualitative work package with Prof Lorna Philip from the Geography Department.

I am co-investigator on a UK-wide study of pregnancy and multi-morbidity led by PI Prof Krish Nirantharakumar, University of Birmingham (MuM-PreDiCT). At Aberdeen we have jointly led a programme of interviews with people with multiple conditions who are or have recently been pregnant, partners and health professionals. I am also a co-investigator on Dr Mairead Black's NIHR study to develop a decision-aid around elective caesarean birth planning, Plan-A.

I am co-investigator on two Versus Arthritis programmes of research, 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 have also produced new Healthtalk modules on fibromyalgia and vasculitis.




Past Research

As principal investigator I have led two studies on recruitment and retention of healthcare staff in remote and rural areas. One, funded by the Chief Scientist Office of Scotland, investigated the motivations and experiences of doctors with regard to practising remote and rural medicine with a view to enhancing recruitment and retention of rural doctors in Scotland. The second study, funded by the NIHR, focused on community-led initiatives to improve healthcare recruitment and retention in remote and rural areas, in both Scotland and England.

I was co-investigator on two Versus Arthritis programmes of research, 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 have also produced new Health Experiences Insights modules on Fibromyalgia and Systemic Vasculitis.

As a co-investigator, I was involved in a study on experiences of Long COVID, led by Prof Kate Hunt at the University of Stirling and funded by the Chief Scientist Office, and a linked study funded by NIHR on family experiences of COVID, led by Prof Sue Ziebland at the University of Oxford, and a further ESRC/UKRI funded study also led by Sue Ziebland, 'Experiences of COVID-19 and recovery: learning from polyphonic voices for communities, policy makers and health and social care providers'.

Other recently completed studies include:

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.(Joint PI with Prof Craig Ramsay)

An inter-disciplinary study of funerals as a form of care and how they have been affected by the pandemic, led by Prof Vikki Entwistle.

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 with a PhD studentship funded by THIS Institute, Cambridge, ended in 2023 (with PhD student Emma Berry).

The experiences of families with inherited motor neurone disease. The Motor Neurone Disease Association awarded funding for 2019-22 to make interviews conducted as part of this PhD into a public resource. (With PhD student Jade Howard, viva passed with minor corrections March 2023).

I was also co-investigator on two further Oxford-led studies:

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

PURSUE: Understanding experiences of urogynaecological conditions and health services. NIHR Policy Research Programme (PIs Abi McNiven and Francine Toye)

and two studies led by Manchester Metropolitan:

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)

As Principal Investigator I 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.

During 2020-21 i collaborated with Prof Judith Smith and Emily Burn at the University of Birmingham and Dr Becks Fisher at the Health Foundation on a study of narrative accounts of primary care practitioners in a time of Covid-19.

A study in collaboration with the University of Leicester and THIS Institute, University of Cambridge, on Developing A Visual Identification Method For People with Cognitive Impairment in Hospital (DA VINCI) has recently been completed.



My current supervision areas are: Applied Health Sciences.

Please note that from 1 January 2024 I am partially retired and will no longer be taking on new PhD students.


Teaching Responsibilities

I currently supervise 3 PhD students, and teach on using qualitative patient experience research for quality improvement.

From January 2024 I am partially retired and no longer taking on new PhD or Masters projects



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