Pat holds a Chair in Primary Care and joined the Nursing Midwifery and Allied Health Professions (NMAHP) Research Unit in 2012. Her research focuses on preventative interventions. She applies mixed method approaches to the design and delivery of complex intervention trials which support people to adopt and sustain behaviours which improve health and wellbeing. She has gained an international recognition particularly for her work on breastfeeding, incentives for behaviour change and how qualitative research methods are applied in randomised controlled trials. Her research aims to address health inequalities and applies ecological approaches to understanding behaviour. She sits on the NIHR-HTA Commissioning Board and is on the Editorial Board of Pilot and Feasibility Studies Journal.
Until 1998 Pat worked as a GP and GP trainer in the East End of London where she was actively involved in GP Obstetrics and Maternity Services commissioning. After undertaking an MPhil at Cardiff University on infant feeding decision making, she moved to Aberdeenshire. Between 2004 and 2012 she worked half time as a rural GP principal and at The University of Aberdeen, latterly in the Health Services Research Unit. Her PhD investigated group based interventions to support breastfeeding. She held a Chief Scientist Office Primary Care Career Award and has twice won the RCGP/Boots research paper of the year award.
Conflicts of interest: She has received no funding from commercial organisations for research, publications or presentations.