The research group brings together scholars from a range of academic disciplines to research philosophical and ethical aspects of professional practice. Based in the Three Counties School of Nursing and Midwifery, we aim to engage with all professional practice, including healthcare, the law and police.

The research group is convened by Dr Paul Snelling  Paul is a registered nurse whose research interests are public health ethics and professional practice. Paul is interim chair of the West Mercia Police Internal Ethics committee. Paul welcomes enquires about any aspect of the group’s activities:

Follow us on Twitter


Professor Eleanor Bradley is Professor of health psychology whose research interests include prescribing and patient confidentiality. Eleanor is an expert in qualitative research and has a particular interest in grounded theory and meta-synthesis.  She currently co-chairs a qualitative research special interest forum with Dr Theresa Mitchell, designed to encourage the use of rigorous, innovative qualitative methodologies amongst academics and our postgraduate research students. Eleanor’s research outputs are here.

Associate Professor Kerry Gaskin is a joint appointment  in children’s nursing with Gloucester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She is a mixed methods researcher, whose research interests include the ethics and practice of children’s nursing practice. Kerry’s research outputs are here. Kerry is course lead for MPhil / PhD in the school of Nursing and Midwifery.

Dr David Jeffrey is Ethics & Law Subject Lead and Problem-Based Learning Facilitator at the Three Counties Medical School.  After 18 years in general practice, David became a palliative care consultant in the 3 Counties Cancer Centre, Cheltenham. After retiring from clinical commitments, he became Academic Mentor at Dundee Medical School with a remit to improve student support. More recently David has undertaken qualitative research into medical students’ empathy.

Dr Martin Lipscomb is Senior Lecturer in Nursing. His research concerns evidence-based practice and philosophy of nursing. He has written over 10 papers for the journal Nursing Philosophy and four books for Routledge. Martins research outputs are here.

Dr Béré Mahoney Principal Lecturer in the School of Psychology, and a Chartered Psychologist. She is course leader for MPhil/PhD in psychology. Her research interests include victimisation, the social and psychological costs of crime, sexuality and gender identity, eating behaviour, ageing and appearance concerns and beliefs about aging, and individual differences. Béré’s research outputs are here.

Professor Kay Mohanna is a partner in general practice in the UK and a trainer with expertise in supporting trainees in difficulty. She is also the International Development Advisor for the Royal College of General Practice for South Asia. Her doctorate started with an interest in fairness in assessment, particularly the international medical graduate experience of the clinical skills assessment in UK GP training and used conversation analysis to look at the work done by small talk in consultation. She was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2015 for my work in faculty development, particularly overseas. Kay’s research output can be found here.

Dr Chris Monaghan is the Director of the Constitutions, Rights and Justice research group. He is a Principal Lecturer in Law and specialises in Constitutional Law and accountability, with a particular emphasis on the accountability of the executive and the use of impeachment. Chris holds a PhD in law from King’s College London and has published on constitutional law, human rights and discrimination law. He is the co-editor of the Routledge Frontiers in Accountability Studies book series and is the author of Public Law (Routledge 2021). His book, Accountability, Impeachment and Constitution: The Case for a Modernised Process for the United Kingdom will be published by Routledge in 2022. Chris’ research outputs can be found here here.

 Professor Sandra Nicholson joined the University of Worcester as the Founding Dean of the Three Counties Medical School in November 2021 following 25 years as a medical academic at QMUL. She gained a Masters in Medical Education in 2001 and consolidated my academic trajectory with a research PhD in 2013 that explored the models of learning and professionalisation of medical students from non-traditional backgrounds. Her personal research interest is in selection to medicine but her passion is in widening participation and increasing diversity of the medical workforce. 

 Dr Brian Nyatanga is Senior Lecturer in Applied Professional Studies. His research interests lie in the areas of palliative care like death anxiety, burnout, survivorship and cultural competence and quality of life. His research outputs are here.

Dr Paul Snelling is Principal Lecturer in nursing. His research is in public health ethics and professional regulation and ethics. He is an editorial Board member of Nursing Philosophy and currently chair of West Mercia Police ethics forum. Paul’s research outputs can be found here.

Dr Carla Solvason is Senior Lecturer in Children and Families in the School of Education.  Her key research interest is the topic of ethicality and how it can be embedded within professional development and caring research. Carla’s research outputs are  here.

Visiting Academics

 Professor Steve Hams  has been Executive Director of Quality and Chief Nurse at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust since October 2017 and is responsible for nursing, midwifery, allied health professions and quality. He is also the Director of Infection Prevention and Control.

Professor Allyson Macvean  is Emerita Professor of Policing and Criminology, at Bath Spa University. Allyson’s research has impelled and encouraged institution-wide ethical leadership and culture change in several organisations, in particular the Police Service of England and Wales and the military. Allyson draws upon her experience from working at the Home Office as well as her extensive knowledge of both policy and operational context. In 2020, as a member of the COVID-19 National Foresight Group, Professor Macvean’s work supported the development of the recommendations to the UK Government to inform their response to the pandemic.Allyson has published numerous books and articles on ethics and intelligence.

Reverend Professor Philip McCormack was appointed Principal of Spurgeon’s College South London following a career as a Chaplain in the British Army. In 2013 Philip became the academic lead on ethics nationally and internationally for the British Army. He articulated the ethical foundation of the British Army and created a practical model of ethics widely embraced, taught and used within the Army and the Royal Marines. 

John Paley is a Visiting Fellow. He has authored or co-authored approaching 100 academic papers, books and book chapters, reviews and commentaries. Latterly his focus has been in the field of philosophy of nursing and nursing research, and in retirement he continues to produce internationally acclaimed books and other outputs. John's latest book,  Concept Analysis in Nursing: A New Approach was published in February 2021

Associate members

Professor Alison Kington is  Professor in Psychology of Education in the School of Education. She has worked in a number of research and teaching roles and has gained extensive experience of, and expertise in, designing and conducting mixed methods research in education and social psychology.  Alison’s research outputs are here

 Associate Professor Theresa Mitchell is Associate Professor of Patient Experience. She is a qualitative researcher interested in the philosophical underpinning of qualitative research. Theresa’s research outputs are here 

Dr Kay Norman is Principal Lecturer in nursing and Head of practice and Partnerships.  Her research interests relate to the image and perceptions of nursing, with recent work focusing on young people’s perceptions of nursing as a career and the image of nursing in general. Kays research outputs are here

PhD students


Alexander Wood is a full-time MPhil/PhD student in the school of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Worcester. He was appointed to a PhD Studentship in January 2023. Alexander’s main research interest is in Professional Policing Practice.   His research concerns ethical aspects of policing, mental health and neurodiversity. Before commencing His MPhil/PhD, Alexander worked in the police service for several years at Warwickshire Police and Staffordshire Police. His supervisors are: Dr Paul Snelling, Dr Rosie Erol and Dr Fazilah Twining. Alex's email is

Recent publications

Peer Reviewed Papers

Snelling, P I.D. icon, Macvean, A and Lewis, R  (2022) Police Ethics Committees in England and Wales: Exploratory online and web surveys. Policing. ISSN 1752-4520 (In Press)

Snelling, P I.D. icon and Quick, O (2022) Confidentiality and public interest disclosure: A framework to evaluate UK healthcare professional regulatory guidance. Medical Law International. ISSN 0968-5332 Online ISSN: 2047-9441

Smith, L., Wray, J. and Gaskin, K I.D. icon (2022) Evaluating the congenital heart assessment tool: a quality improvement project. Cardiology in the Young. pp. 1-8. ISSN Print 1047-9511 Online 1467-1107

Gaskin, K I.D. icon, Smith, L. and Wray, J. (2022) An Improved Congenital Heart Assessment Tool: A Quality Improvement Outcome. Cardiology in the Young. pp. 1-6. ISSN Print 1047-9511 Online 1467-1107

Williams, J., Lathlean, J. and Norman, K (2021) An exploration of the development of resilience in student midwives. British Journal of Midwifery, 29 (6). pp. 330-337. ISSN 0969-4900

Norman, K and Meszaros, K  (2021) Community nursing placements: student learning experiences during a pandemic and beyond. British Journal of Community Nursing, 26 (5). pp. 214-217. ISSN Print: 1462-4753 Online: 2052-2215

Chilton, F., Bradley, E I.D. icon and Mitchell, T(2021) ‘Lost time’. Patients with Early Inflammatory/Rheumatoid Arthritis and their experiences of delays in Primary Care. Musculoskeletal Care. pp. 1-9. ISSN Print: 1478-2189 Electronic:1557-0681

Causer, H, Bradley, EI.D. icon, Muse, K I.D. icon and Smith, J (2021) Bearing witness: A grounded theory of the experiences of staff at two United Kingdom Higher Education Institutions following a student death by suicide. PLoS One, 16 (5). e0251369. ISSN Print 1932-6203 Online 1932-6203

Lipscomb, M. (2020). Neoliberalism and neoliberals: What are we talking about?. Nursing Inquiry, 27(1), e12318. Read the full paper here

Ward, L., & Carter, M. (2020). Learning how to SMILE. Improving physical and mental health through nurse education and creative practice. Nurse Education in Practice, 43, 102712. Read the full paper here

Carter, M. (2019). Political discourse in the hospital heterotopia. Nursing Philosophy20(4), e12263. Read the full paper here

Lipscomb, M. (2019) Politics and Nursing. Nursing Philosophy, 20 (4). e12285 Read the full paper here

Lipscomb, M. (2019). Politics in the classroom. Nursing Philosophy, 20(3), e12251. Read the full paper here

Thomas, Y Seedhouse, D., Peutherer, V. and McLoughlin, M. (2019) An Empirical Investigation Into the Role of Values in Occupational Therapy Decision-making. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 82 (6). pp. 357-366. Read the full paper here

Bradley, E., & Green, D. (2018). Involved, inputting or informing: “Shared” decision making in adult mental health care. Health Expectations, 21(1), 192-200. Read the full paper here

Snelling, P.C. (2018) The Subversion of Mill and the Ultimate Aim of Nursing. Nursing Philosophy, 19 (1). pp. 1-9 Read the full paper here

Solvason, C. (2018) ‘Just how important is ethics within early childhood research and professionalism.’ Journal of Early Childhood Education Research, 6 (2), pp 166-176. Read the full paper here

Snelling, P.C. (2017) Can the Revised UK Code Direct Practice? Nursing Ethics, 24 (4). pp. 392-407. Read the full paper here

Carter, M. (2016). Deceit and dishonesty as practice: the comfort of lying. Nursing Philosophy, 17(3), 202-210. Read the full paper here

Snelling, P.C. (2016) The Metaethics of Nursing Codes of Ethics and Conduct. Nursing Philosophy, Read the full paper here

Lipscomb, M. (2015) Just How Wide Should 'Wide Reading' Be? Nursing Philosophy, 16 (4). pp. 187-202. Read the full paper here

Carter, M (2014) Vocation and Altruism in Nursing: The Habits of Practice. Nursing Ethics, 21 (6). pp. 695-706. ISSN Read the full paper here

Lipscomb, M (2014) Research Report Appraisal: How Much Understanding is Enough? Nursing Philosophy, 15 (3). pp. 157-170. Read the full paper here

Baird, K. M., & Mitchell, T. (2014). Using feminist phenomenology to explore women's experiences of domestic violence in pregnancy. British Journal of Midwifery, 22(6), 418-426. Read the full paper here

Snelling, P.C. (2015) Who Can Blame Who for What and How in Responsibility for Health? Nursing Philosophy, 16 (1). pp. 3-18. (4). pp. 229-249. Read the full paper here

Snelling, P.C. (2014) What’s Wrong with Tombstoning and What Does This Tell Us About Responsibility for Health? Public Health Ethics, 7 (2). pp. 144-157. Read the full paper here


Lipscomb, M. (Editor) (2022)  Complexity and Values in Nurse Education: Dialogues on Professional Education.    Routledge, London

Lipscomb, M.  (2019) Nursing Literature Reviews: A Reflection. Routledge, London. ISBN Paperback: 9780415792714 Hardback: 9780415792707 ebook: 9781315211442

Lipscomb, M.  (2017) Social Theory and Nursing. Routledge Key Themes in Health and Society . Routledge - Taylor and Francis Group, Abingdon. ISBN Hardback 9781138186071

Paley, J. (2016) Phenomenology as Qualitative Research: A Critical Analysis of Meaning Attribution Routledge - Taylor and Francis Group, Abingdon

Lipscomb, M.  (2016) Exploring Evidence-based Practice: Debates and Challenges in Nursing. Routledge Key Themes in Health and Society . Routlegde - Taylor and Francis, Abingdon. ISBN Hardback: 978-1-138-78990-6 E-book: 978-1-315-76455-9

Lipscomb, M.  (2014) A Hospice in Change: Applied Social Realist Theory. Critical Realism: Interventions (Routledge Critical Realism) . Routledge - Taylor and Francis, Abingdon. ISBN Hardback: 978-0-415-62251-6 E-book: 978-1-315-88530-8


Current projects

Past events

On 16th February 2021 the Research Group hosted a book launch for John Paley's new book: Concept Analysis in Nursing: A New Approach  A video of the event can be found  here

Upcoming events

Please contact Dr Paul Snelling for further information