Dr Gemma Louch

Dr Gemma Louch


I am an applied health services researcher with expertise in patient safety and mixed-methods based at the School of Healthcare, University of Leeds. I am affiliated with the NIHR Yorkshire and Humber Patient Safety Research Collaboration (YH PSRC), specifically the Safer Systems, Cultures and Practices (SSyCap) theme. 

I graduated from the University of Leeds with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology in 2009. I was awarded an MSc in Psychological Approaches to Health from the University of Leeds in 2010, and I was awarded a PhD in Health Psychology and Patient Safety from the University of Leeds in 2014.

One of my current streams of work explores patient safety inequalities and inequities for people with learning disabilities. I have undertaken a number of reviews in this area, most recently a scoping review of maternity care quality and safety for women with learning disabilities, funded by the Baily Thomas Charitable Fund.

I am the Research Programme Manager for the Response Study. This 39-month project is funded by NIHR to evaluate the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) across the NHS in England. Within this programme I am leading on a rapid review and a national survey of all NHS Trusts and Integrated Care Boards in England.

Research funding:

  • Maternity care quality and safety for women with learning disabilities: A scoping review. (2022-2023). £4,984. The Baily Thomas Charitable Fund. Principal Investigator.
  • Developing a service user centred co-designed patient safety intervention for acute mental health wards: A mixed methods process evaluation (2020-2022). £860,524.90 NIHR HS&DR. Co-Investigator.
  • Patient and family involvement in serious incident investigations: Developing and testing national and local guiding processes (2019-2022). £994,656.88 NIHR HS&DR. Co-Investigator.

Current research students:

  • Emily Parker, PhD Student. Emily’s research is exploring the factors influencing junior doctors’ management of risk and uncertainty in the Emergency Department. Emily’s work is funded by the NIHR YH PSRC (formerly the NIHR YH PSTRC).
  • Brook Howells, PhD Student. Brook’s research is focused on exploring safety management systems for healthcare. Brook’s work is funded by the NIHR YH PSRC.

Completed research students:

  • Alice Dunning, PhD Student (2017-2022). Alice’s research aimed to explore the feasability and effectiveness of a brief intervention based on self-affirmation theory with nursing staff to help improve levels of wellbeing. Alice’s research was funded by the NIHR CLAHRC Evidence Based Transformation with the NHS theme and the University of Leeds.

Research interests

Professional memberships

  • Editorial Board Member - BMC Health Services Research
  • Previous member of the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB), Yorkshire and North East Regional Advisory Committee

Student education

I contribute to teaching on the quality of care and patient safety.

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/1949-what-is-the-role-of-non-executive-directors-in-patient-safety-oversight-in-the-nhs-in-england?">What is the role of non-executive directors in patient safety oversight in the NHS in England?</a></li>