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Administrative Fairness in Healthcare

Exploring how people interact with healthcare services to improve outcomes for all.

Over a million people every day use NHS services to access support from GPs, community health services, mental health teams, or hospitals.

Delivering care on this scale requires a complex ecosystem of administrative processes that outstrips anything else in the UK state. From accessing treatments to collecting prescriptions, patients must navigate a range of front-line care delivery and administration processes. 

Administrative Fairness in Healthcare explores the role of these processes in healthcare delivery and their impact on those accessing treatment. We ask:

  • Do patients’ experience of navigating healthcare systems impact their willingness to engage with treatment or seek future support?
  • Are poor experiences where people feel unfairly treated associated with negative consequences and worse health outcomes? 
  • How can these services address rising demand despite rising costs and a limited workforce? 

Millions of decisions are taken everyday in the NHS, but not all of them are clinical. There is increasing evidence that patients’ experiences of all kinds of processes - from booking appointments, to accessing their GP online - could impact their willingness to engage with treatment, attend appointments and have other health outcomes. These processes need robust evaluation to ensure they are helping to support positive patient outcomes.

Dr Jed Meers, co-lead of Administrative Fairness in Healthcare and a lecturer at York Law School.

Our team

Our emerging research agenda brings together the University of York’s expertise in administrative fairness with its leading health services and policy research.  The team includes researchers from York Law School, the Department of Health Sciences, and the Institute of Mental Health Research at York (IMRY).

Dr Jed Meers, Co-Lead
Senior Lecturer in Law, York Law School.

Dr Magdalena Furgalska, Mental Health Stream Lead 
Lecturer in Law, York Law School.

Dr Omara Dogar, Smoking Cessation Stream Lead, and Spark EDI Lead
Lecturer in Global/Public Health, Department of Health Sciences.

Professor Joe Tomlinson: Co-Lead
Professor of Public Law, York Law School, and Director of the Administrative Fairness Lab.

Professor Lina Gega: Co-Applicant
Professor of Mental Health, Hull York Medical School, and Director of the Institute of Mental Health Research at York (IMRY).

Miss Lauren Aylott: Spark PPI Lead
Research Innovation Office, and the Department of Health Sciences.

Professor Karen Bloor
Professor of Health Economics and Policy, and Research Team Lead for the Health Services and Policy Research Group, Department of Health Sciences.

Professor Tim Doran
Professor of Health Policy, Department of Health Sciences.

Dr Elena Ratsche
Reader in Health Services Research, and Research Team Lead for Tobacco and Mental Health, Department of Health Sciences.

An image of white smoke swirling against a dark background

Research Spotlight: Smoking Cessation

This project examines how healthcare practitioners talk to and work with patients undergoing behavioural tobacco treatment. Building on an existing network of world-leading expertise in this field, this research has potential to transform how behavioural change interventions are provided, leading to better patient engagement with treatment to stop smoking. It is led by Dr Omara Dogar, who is an expert on tobacco cessation interventions with a global health focus. 

View Dr Omara Dogar's staff profile

Hospital doors open to reveal a long corridor

Research Spotlight: Mental Health

This project examines administrative fairness in relation to processes associated with psychiatric hospital admissions. It is being led by Dr Magda Furgalska, whose research seeks to improve mental health law and understand how it impacts people’s treatment experiences, including how people seek help and make decisions about treatment. As well as leading this Sparks project, she researches and teaches mental health law and healthcare law. 

View Dr Magdalena Furgalska's staff profile