Gail Mann

PhD Student
Gail Mann


I am a full time PhD student,  Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship funded (2017-2020).


I qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 1993, and have over 20 years’ experience working as a clinician in Education and Health services in both the UK and Australia.  I have held clinical, managerial and clinical leadership roles in children’s services in the NHS and achieved an MSc in Healthcare Leadership in 2016.   My clinical and leadership roles and research practice within the NHS have enabled me to acquire a detailed insight into service development and the roles and practice of evaluation.  I have experience in initiating, planning and implementing projects/services, in particular those with a focus on the implementation and evaluation of person and family centred care.  My practice reflects my belief in an open culture of public involvement and that those on the receiving end of services are an integral part of understanding what works and how best to progress thinking about health and social care.  

Research Interests

  • Person and family centred care /personalisation

  • Practitioner/ citizen relationships

  • Health and social care

  • Critical Realism

  • Realist Social Theory

  • Relational Sociology

  • Realist evaluation 

Research Activity

I am researching the role of the relationship between practitioners and citizens in social interventions.  Using Critical Realism, Margaret Archer’s Realist Social Theory, and Donati's Relational Sociology, I am seeking to understand whether the ‘relationship’ as a component of the intervention makes a causal contribution to outcomes and if so, how this works.  In order to do this, I am taking an approach which I anticipate may reveal more about how care relationships operate, both through people and between people.  I am also interested in the influence of context on the relationship; the structures and cultures within which the relationship sits. 

An overarching question for this research is: Is it warranted to say that the care relationship contributes causally to outcomes?  If it is, then this has implications for both the way we understand the relational component of any intervention in context, and the way we protect and nurture the relational component of interventions.  I think tacitly we, as practitioners and/or service users, understand that relationships can have a causal effect and we can describe this, but we cannot explain the mechanisms involved.   I am investigating whether these theoretical frameworks offer the potential to learn more about these mechanisms and their facilitative contexts.


  • Conference paper – JSWEC 2019

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