Lead Investigator

Dr George Palattiyil is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Edinburgh and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. With over two decades of teaching and research experience spanning across India and Scotland, he has a special interest in social work with older people. Prior to moving into academia in 2005, he worked as a local authority social worker and manager specialising in the care of older people and care reviews. He has an eclectic teaching and research interests that include ageing and caring, dementia and adult protection, forced migration and refugee health and human rights.


Jo Hockley OBE PhD FRCP(Ed) MSc RN, works as a senior research fellow in Primary Palliative Care, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh. As a nurse, she has considerable experience within both specialist and generalist palliative care.  Since finishing her PhD in 2006, she has worked exclusively in care homes implementing palliative care quality improvement initiatives and undertaking research. She is currently working with managers from six ‘partner’ care homes from across Lothian (a mixture of council, for profit, not for profit/charitable care homes).

Lynn Jamieson is a Professor of Sociology, Families and Relationships at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests include: families, households and all personal relationships, intimacy, identity, all stages of the lifecourse, social change, methods of social research, environment and sexual offences

Professor Linda McKie is Dean/Head of School of Social and Political Science; Professor of Sociology and Social Policy; and Associate Director, Centre for Research on Families & Relationships at the University of Edinburgh. She works in the areas of Relationships & Gender, Women and Work, Violence and Gender, Families & Social Change, Applied Sociology, Evaluation in Capacity Building for Third Sector Organisations and Evidence Informed Policy.

Dr Sumeet Jain is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at The University of Edinburgh. His inter-disciplinary research on community mental health care draws on the disciplines of social work, transcultural psychiatry, medical anthropology and international development.   His research aims to strengthen community mental health care in the global south by examining micro-innovations in practice and developing people-centered care. Current research examines contextually grounded mental health ‘innovations’ in the global south; development of local approaches to ‘recovery’ in northern India; the role of community health workers in delivery of mental health care in India and Nepal; and the relationships between mental health and forms of marginality and social exclusion in India.

Neil Quinn is a Reader in Social Work and Co-Director of the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Health Policy. He is a specialist in social work and public health, with a particular expertise in health inequalities, human rights and citizenship. Neil is Principal Investigator of the Horizon 2020 Citizenship, Recovery and Inclusive Society Partnership, an ambitious 4-year international programme on mental health and social exclusion and on a national research and knowledge exchange programme on the right to health for marginalised groups. He is engaged in a number of key national policy roles, including the Scottish National Action Plan (SNAP) human rights group on health and social care and previously as an advisor to the World Health Organisation on mental health rights.

Professor Debbie Tolson; a nurse leader with international reputation applied research excellence. Directorship of the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice, and executive leadership role within Scottish Dementia Research Consortium are testimony to expertise in dementia, family caring and practice research.

Dr Dina Sidhva is a Lecturer in Social Work at the University of the West of Scotland and an Associate of the Global Health Academy at the University of Edinburgh. She has a passion for giving voice to marginalised, vulnerable individuals with a special focus on lived experiences in areas such as HIV, human rights, gender based violence, migration, asylum seekers and Syrian refugees in Jordan. She has worked as a hospital social worker specialising in the care of older people and care reviews and as a family carer has experience of the lived reality of care homes in Scotland.

Professor Trish Hafford-Letchfield has been carrying out research with older people for some considerable time and has a significant national and International reputation. Her research interests lie in the experiences of ageing in marginalised communities, with a strong interest in the rights of LGBT+ communities. Most of her research is applied and co-produced with people with lived experience.

Rikke Iversholt is the former Director of Iriss, a not-for-profit organisation based in Scotland.  She led the organisation’s strategic development and collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders across the Scottish health and social services sectors.  Rikke has extensive experience of systems analysis, change management, and scaling new initiatives from pilot stage to full system implementation.  She has expertise in using data for social good through visualisation, analysis and shared problem resolution. A qualified Improvement Leader (ScIL) with a decade’s worth of successfully leading improvement and innovation projects, Rikke is also an active member of the Health Foundation’s Q Community and UNESCO’s Inclusive Policy Lab.

Kerry Musselbrook is a Project Manager at Iriss. With a background as an Educational Researcher, Kerry has a keen interest in social justice, equality and diversity. Before joining Iriss, she spent 10 years as Co-ordinator, then Director, of the South East Wider Access Forum where she worked with 18 college and university partners and other stakeholders to widen access to higher education.

Dr Sarah Swift is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of the West of Scotland. Sarah is interested in exploring the lived experiences of people with dementia and their carers. Her primary research focus is the role of gardens in the everyday lives of people living with dementia.

Bruce Mason is a qualitative researcher who has been working at the University of Edinburgh for 12 years with a particular interest in care planning in the community as part of the Primary Palliative Care Research Group. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife, three cats and one rather nervous goldfish.

This project benefitted from collaboration and contributions from the wider research environment at the University of Edinburgh. In particular the Research Training Centre within the School of Social and Political Science and the Advanced Care Research Centre led the survey component of the research, including survey design, delivery, analysis and write up. The staff members involved were:

Alan Marshall, a Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Methods and Director of the SPS Research Training Centre. Alan leads a Work Package within the Advanced Care Research centre on using data to predict adverse events in later life. He is a Co-I on rapid-response project examining the impact of the Covid19 pandemic on the experiences of those with child caring responsibilities funded by the ESRC. 

Sarah Christison is an affiliate of the Research Training Centre and has recently taken up a post as Research Fellow in the School of Geography and Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews. She has also contributed to University of Edinburgh research examining knowledge, attitudes and behaviour amongst young people tested for SARS-Cov-2

Advisory Committee

Project partners

Chief Scientists Office
The University of Edinburgh
University of Strathclyde
University of the west of Scotland