Philosophers to influence healthcare practice through NHS residency

University of Liverpool academics will seek to bring philosophical reasoning into health and social care practice, through a 12 month residency with NHS Research & Development North West (NHS R&D NW).

Dr Panayiota Vassilopoulou, Dr Rachael Wiseman and Professor Michael Hauskeller, from the University’s Department of Philosophy, will work to create opportunities for critical discussion and rational argument by engaging with healthcare professionals and health and care researchers, as well as NHS managers and policy makers.

Through rational investigation, they will seek to explore the principles underpinning NHS culture and the way it operates at both individual and corporate level.

University of Liverpool Vice-Chancellor, Dame Professor Janet Beer, said: “This unique and innovative residency, between the University’s Department of Philosophy and NHS leaders, will create an opportunity to think deeply about some of the most important questions of our time.

“How and when should we be allowed to die? What does good health mean? And how should the NHS allocate scarce resources and manage competing demands on its services?

“Every one of us has a stake in these issues and we hope to help to prepare the NHS for the future through this project.”

The programme, which began this month, will be officially launched with an evening reception at the Bluecoat Arts Centre on November 29.

The first event in the residency, to be delivered through the professional development series, Thinking Matters, and taking place on January 18 2019 at Liverpool’s Friends Meeting House, will ask: Is there ever a right time to die?

Chief Executive Officer at NHS R&D NW, Professor Stuart Eglin, said: “I am delighted to host this residency with my team and hope that this is the beginning of a new way of thinking about the future of health and care research.”

The scheme builds on the Academic-in-Residence model pioneered by Dr Vassilopoulou at the Bluecoat Arts Centre in 2013.

To find out more about the launch event on November 29, which will provide an opportunity to get to know the residency team, as well as enjoy a performance by cellist, Georgina Aasgaard, please visit

Leave a comment