PhD Studentship: Effective Legal and Regulatory Responses to Patient Safety Incidents at Transitions of Care

The University of Manchester - School of Law

Care transitions can be from one part of the NHS to another (e.g. hospital to primary care), between NHS and private care providers, between the health and social care sectors, or between other sectors and sites including the voluntary sector, self-help groups or “home.” In these circumstances, clinical responsibility for patient care lies with a shifting multitude of actors and organisational entities. Needs and challenges may vary according to condition group, clinical specialty or patient characteristics. It is recognised that patients can be at particular risk of safety failures during care transitions.1

Government initiatives on patient safety following the Francis (2013) report into the patient safety failures at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust2 include the Duty of Candour3 and a recent Bill proposing new legal powers and drawing on experience gleaned from the Aviation industry.4 The complexities of regulation and governance across care boundaries and between clinical specialties offer a plethora of potential research questions for those interested in Healthcare, Ethics and Law in the patient safety arena.

We invite applications (including 2,500 word research proposal) for a PhD studentship covering Effective Legal and Regulatory Responses to Patient Safety Incidents at Transitions of Care. Proposals should include an indication of the types of patient transitions which will be considered and why; key research questions; and the methodology which will be adopted and why. Applications are welcomed from prospective students with practical and/or theoretical backgrounds in a wide variety of disciplines including clinical, legal, philosophical, regulatory and other relevant backgrounds.

This studentship is funded by the NIHR* Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre. It will be based in the School of Law, running within the Bioethics and Medical Jurisprudence Programme (see and includes an annual stipend of £17,500pa, tuition fees, plus an annual allowance for training and conference attendance. All applicants need to be UK/EU nationals because of the nature of the funding. Non UK nationals will require an overall IELTS score of 7.

For further information, please contact Dr. Sarah Devaney (;) or Dr. Gavin Daker-White (Email:; Tel: +44 (0)161 275 7637)

Closing date: 30th April 2018

Studentship start date: September 2018

*National Institute for Health Research


  1. Coleman, E.A. and Berenson, R.A., 2004. Lost in transition: challenges and opportunities for improving the quality of transitional care. Annals of internal medicine, 141(7), pp.533-536.
  2. Francis, R., 2013. Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry: executive summary (Vol. 947). The Stationery Office.
  3. Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014: Regulation 20
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