The Team

Real Complaints features a range of experts from across professional disciplines. The core project team involves linguists and sociologists who specialise in communication analysis and social policy. Outside of the core team, the project is guided by experts in and across healthcare research, by stakeholders in the Trusts and Patient Client Council, and by direct public involvement.

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Dr Catrin S. Rhys

Head of School of Communication and Media

Catrin is a conversation analyst and part of the Real Complaints team working on the spoken data (along with Dr Bethan Benwell and Dr Maria Erofeeva).

Catrin’s research employs Conversation Analysis to examine social interaction in different clinical and institutional contexts. With her background in formal linguistics, there is a focus in all her work on the interface between grammar and language use.

Catrin has co-authored with Dr Bethan Benwell on conversation analytic approaches to healthcare communication including analysis of preoperative assessment interactions and telephone complaints interactions to the NHS.

Professor Richard Simmons

Professor of Public and Social Policy

Richard Simmons is a Professor of Public and Social Policy in the School of Applied Social Science. He has successfully managed numerous research projects, including major studies funded by three ESRC Programmes ‘Democracy and Participation’ (£125,000: graded ‘outstanding’), ‘Cultures of Consumption’ (£145,000: graded ‘good’), and ‘Non-Governmental Public Action’ (£165,000: graded ‘outstanding’).

Dr Bethan Benwell

Senior Lecturer

Bethan is one of the Researchers on the project responsible (with Catrin Rhys and Maria Erofeeva) for the Conversation and Discourse Analysis of the project data.

During her academic career, her primary research focus has been on the relationship between discourse and identity. She is the co-author (with Elizabeth Stokoe) of Discourse and Identity (2006: EUP), and with Dr May McCreaddie and Dr Catrin Rhys, she has published articles and chapters on conversation analytical approaches to healthcare communication including analysis of preoperative assessment interactions and telephone complaints interactions to the NHS.

Dr Ruth Parry

Professor of Human Communication and Interaction

Ruth holds a fellowship from the NIHR Academy. She supports the Real Complaints team on designing and managing research studies that focus on healthcare communication.

Ruth worked as a physiotherapist in the NHS before moving into research.  She has conducted and published systematic reviews, questionnaire surveys, and qualitative interview studies. Her main specialism is in conversation analysis as applied healthcare, and in particular how people navigate the difficulties involved in communicating about difficult and sensitive topics. She increasingly works on developing, disseminating, and evaluating teaching and learning materials grounded in the findings of conversation analytic research on language and social interaction.

Dr Morgan Macleod

Research Associate/Project Officer

Morgan received his PhD in Linguistics from the University of Cambridge. Before joining Real Complaints, he previously worked on the AHRC-funded projects Investigating Variation and Change: Case in Diachrony and Language Awareness for Key Stage 3. His published research has investigated the history and development of languages including English and Greek. He has also worked in the financial sector in a planning-related capacity.

Dr Maria Erofeeva

Research Associate

Maria is a conversation analyst who is responsible for the analysis of the spoken and written data (along with Dr Catrin S. Rhys and Dr Bethan Benwell). With her background in sociology, she is drawing linguistic insights into their broader social outcomes. She has done research in different institutional contexts including classroom interaction, science and technology and healthcare.

Dr Carol Stitt

Research Associate

Carol joined the Real Complaints team as an RA primarily involved with data collection and data management. She has a PhD in Modern Linguistics from Ulster University, with a focus on spoken interactions in institutional settings. Her research uses Conversation Analysis to examine initial telephone complaints interactions to Health & Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland.