Caroline Sanders

Caroline Sanders, RGN/RSCN, BA hons, MSc, PhD


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Personal profile


Caroline is Professor of Medical Sociology with expertise in qualitative methods, patient experience, health and care inequalities, digital health and patient safety. She leads the 'Marginalised Groups (Patients & Carers)' research theme within the GM Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, and co-leads the 'Person-centred care and complex health needs' research theme within the Centre for Primary Care and Health Services Research. She is lead for Public and Community Involvement and Engagement (PCIE) for Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, and for the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration in Greater Manchester.


Caroline is a medical sociologist with a professional background in nursing. Since 1995 she has held a number of posts combining research and teaching in the field of health and medicine at the universities of Bristol, Sheffield before joining the Centre for Primary Care at University of Manchester in 2005.  

Research interests

Much of my current research focuses on patient and carer experiences of living with and managing long-term conditions (both physical and mental health), health and care inequalities, digital health and patient safety. I have specific expertise in qualitative research, participatory methods and co-design of complex interventions, and patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE).

Caroline is currently leading a theme of research on 'Marginalised Groups (Patients & Careres)' within the GM Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (PSTRC): 







  • Dissertation supervisor for MPH/MRes


Recent completed PhD students:

  • Ellen Brady - Providing self-care support in the management of long-term conditions: exploring the role of social networks and e-health technologies
  • Michaela Goodwin – Reducing the number of General Anaesthetics required for tooth extraction for children in the North West: a multilateral approach
  • Lisa Brunton - An experience based analysis of barriers to the adoption of telehealth in UK healthcare: a case study on COPD
  • Josie Messina- Primary Care as a setting for diabetes prevention and tackling health inequalities: a qualitative study and systematic review of lifestyle modification adviCe in disadvantaged populations
  • Naomi Wood - Social networks, chronic illness work, resources and community based knowledge
  • Andrew Shepherd – Service user and provider experiences of personality disorder in community and forensic settings

  • Sarah Jayne Leonard – A comparative study of people transferred from prison to hospital under the Mental Health Act: discharge decision-making

My collaborations

Professor Peter Bower (Primary Care, Health Services Research)

Professor Stephen Campbell (Patient Safety)

Professor Will Dixon (Digital Epidemiology, Rheumatology, Digital Innovation)

Professor Evan Kontopantelis (Data Science)

Professor Goran Nenadic (Computer Science, Text Analytics)

Professor Pauline Ong (Primary Care, Social Science)

Dr Tom Blakeman (Primary Care)

Professor Sue Kirk (Long-term Conditions, Nursing, Children & families)

Professor Caroline Watkins (Stroke Care, Global Health)

Professor Linda Davies (Health Economics)

Professor Jenny Shaw (Forensic Psychiatry)

Professor Andrew Renehan (Colo-rectal Cancer)

Dr Sarah Devaney (Law)

Professor Shon Lewis (Mental Health)

Professor John Ainsworth (Health Informatics)

Professor Karina Lovell (Mental Health)

Professor Iain Pretty (Dentistry)

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

British Sociological Association

Methodological knowledge

Qualitative Research Methods


RGN/RSCN, BA (hons), M.Sc., PhD

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute
  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing


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