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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Primary care and health services

Primary care and health services

At BSMS we wonder how to contribute to an inclusive and just society, and to the improvement of health and healthcare in a globalising world. To achieve this mission, we reflect on current medical, ethical and socio-political themes in dialogue with various stakeholders but we also try to focus on changing observable behavior. We work together with those involved on value-driven transformations and practice improvements. Our work in primary care and medical informatics research helps us develop ways to evaluate and improve the health of all those in our society, particularly the most vulnerable.

Our teaching and research bring together a wide range of disciplines to address clinical and healthcare challenges. These disciplines include general practice, public health, epidemiology, statistics, psychology and sociology. We offer strong methodological skills in both quantitative and qualitative approaches, in particular for real-world evaluations or implementation research in pragmatic community-based randomised control trials, behaviour change, analysis of large data sets, survey design, and health outcome measurement. 

We focus on the management of difficult and stigmatised problems such mental and sexual health issues (e.g. dementia), because we aim to support the workforce and these have the most unmet patient need. We develop our priority research areas in an ongoing dialogue with the field, practitioners, students, patients and CCGs. As there is currently a sense of crisis in the National Health Service and particularly in primary care, we believe new models of care urgently require study and implementation. Working with existing data sets enables us to understand causes of disease (for instance, thyroid cancer), as well as patterns of disease referral and management (for example, in ovarian cancer).

Our networks

We maintain close links with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network and through this have links with over 200 general practices around Kent, Surrey and Sussex to recruit patients for research trials and studies.

We advise University of Kent and Christchurch University how to set up their new medical school. The research conducted by the department informs our teaching throughout the BSMS undergraduate curriculum in the areas of general practice, population medicine and healthcare systems and vice versa. In all our areas of research we are keen to develop links with colleagues at our parent universities, the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton, the local health economy and across the UK and also internationally, for instance in several projects funded by the European Union, with African countries and China.

Clinical teaching

We provide extra support to students with an interest in primary care and public health to make BSMS the first school in the country for future GPs and public health doctors. A total of 130 local GP practices are actively involved in clinical teaching, such as in the simulated surgeries.

General practitioners interested in teaching without an existing contract with BSMS may be eligible for an honorary academic title. Honorary titles are granted in recognition of sustained involvement in the medical school, including provision of community placements, research collaboration, teaching, student assessment and examination.

The department hosts NIHR Academic Clinical Fellows in general practice and academic foundation doctors. Our research fellows join an existing enthusiastic research team, contribute to undergraduate teaching and also undertake a Master’s degree in research methods (MRes) as part of their training in academic primary care. We welcome applications for these posts via the National Recruitment Office for GP Training (NRO).

Become a GP teacher

Find out about how you can share your experience in general practice by becoming a GP teacher for BSMS.

Read more >


Dr Stephen Bremner > 
Prof Jackie Cassell > 
Dr Max Cooper > 
Dr Carrie Llewellyn > 
Prof Anjum Memon > 
Prof Harm van Marwijk >

Associated researchers

Alpaslan Bulbul > 
Dr Timothy Crossman >  
Natalie Edelman >  
Dr Elizabeth Ford > 
Debbie Hatfield > 
Hazel Henderson 
Dr Christina Jones > 
Dr Priyamvada Paudyal > 
Alex Pollard > 
Tomasz Nadarzynski >

Research Co-ordinator

Stefania Lanza >

Associated teachers

John Anderson > 
Dr Wesley Scott-Smith >

Honorary appointments

Dr Leslie Carlin > 
Dr Christian Apfelbacher 
Dr Susan Laing
Tom Wichlow
Tim Williams