Empathic Approaches To The Design Of New Service Models For Elders’ Access To Health Care Provision

Centre for Mobility & Transport, Coventry University

About This PhD Project
Project Description
Funding Notes
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Project Description

Duration: 3 years 6 months fixed term.

Project Lead:
Professor Andree Woodcock 

Elders’ access to health care provision in the UK (and globally, e.g. in the US) is problematic. The distributed nature of health care, the complexity of illnesses associated with old age, and cutbacks in transport provision.

Although the precise direction of the PhD will be based on the background and interests of the candidate, the overall aim will be to propose and test realistic and transferable transport solutions to improve the accessibility and health care experience of older patients.

Work will be conducted in several sites in Coventry and Bristol to develop an understanding on the one hand, the problems associated with older peoples travel to health care providers (e.g. health centres, hospitals, specialist medical centres) from appointment through to completion of treatment; and on the other the problems of health care providers and transport operators in meeting the needs of this group. Opportunities may exist to draw on best practice in US as well.

Primary and secondary data will be used to develop and test alternative, cost effective and transferable solutions for access to health care for elders.

This PhD is hosted by Coventry University in close collaboration with the University of West England (UWE) Bristol and a strategic residential partner from the Housing Association sector.

The project will be hosted in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (http://www.coventry.ac.uk/study-at-coventry/faculties-and-schools/arts-and-humanities/) with clear affiliation to the Centre for Mobility and Transport (CMT)- http://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/areas-of-research/mobility-transport/. The PhD is a follow on from initial work conducted in the centre in relation to design of transport systems to support older people’s access to health care.

The project will draw on the strong connections with Age Friendly City Initiative led by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (http://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/areas-of-research/trust-peace-social-relations/) and Living lab methodologies notable for their high levels of user engagement.

The international supervisory team will include senior academics from the Centre for Transport and Society at the University of West England (UWE) Bristol (http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/et/research/cts) and from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) http://illinois.edu/ and will also draw on established networks and work with elders who access health and social care.

Successful applicants will have:

– a taught Masters degree in a relevant discipline, involving a dissertation of standard length written in English in the relevant subject area with a minimum of a merit profile: 60% overall module average and a minimum of a 60% dissertation mark
– the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a three-year period of study
– a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)


– Experience of transport modelling and/or service design
– Experience of design, conduct and analysis of qualitative/ethnographic studies
– Knowledge of health service provision and transport provision
– Confidence and ability to work with diverse stakeholders – medical profession, transport providers and older users
– Familiarity with user centred design in association with service design
– Experience of (or a willingness to quickly learn) about empathic modelling,
– Understanding of health care provision in old age
– Knowledge of health care/transport telematics.

Related Subjects
◾Aeronautical, Maritime and Transport Engineering
◾Art & Design
◾Health Sciences


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