Professor Ewen Speed

School of Health and Social Care
Professor Ewen Speed
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872847

  • Location

    2S2.4.17, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    13:00 - 14:00 Monday or by appointment



Ewen is Professor of Medical Sociology in the School of Health and Social Care. He has research interests in health policy, particularly in the context of the NHS. He is also interested in critical approaches to understanding engagement and involvement in healthcare, and in critical approaches to psychology and psychiatry. He is currently an Associate Editor for the journal Critical Public Health. He is also a member of the National Institute of Health Research East of England Applied Research Collaboration, contributing directly to the Inclusive Involvement in Research for Practice Led Health and Social Care theme and is Implementation Lead for this theme.


  • B.A.(Hons) Social Sciences Glasgow Caledonian University,

  • M.Sc. Research Methods University of Strathclyde,

  • Ph.D. Sociology University of Dublin, Trinity College,


Other academic

  • Trustee, Foundation for Sociology of Health and Illness (1/10/2020 - present)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Governance and citizenship in context of health and healthcare

Open to supervise

Neoliberalism, the third sector and health care provision

Open to supervise

Discourse analysis, interpretive policy analysis

Open to supervise

Current research

Information as a Regulatory Device in the NHS

In conjunction with Andrew Goffey, University of Nottingham and Lynne Pettinger, University of Warwick.

Conferences and presentations

Pandemic policy making affecting older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic in the four nations of the UK

50th Anniversary Annual Conference of the British Society of Gerontology, Online event, 9/7/2021

"Uncovering recovery" – The effects of politicizing recovery

Invited presentation, The Politics of Recovery: controversy and co-option in the era of austerity, Norway, 16/6/2021

Who designs Welfare Policy?

British Sociological Association annual conference, 14/4/2021

Populism as a form of Political Performativity

Discourse Theory: Ways Forward, Centre for Study of Democracy, Signification and Resistance, Brussels, Belgium, 7/2/2019

Translational Research and the Politics of Evidence

Invited presentation, Translational research: How to produce research that makes a difference, Translational Research Workshop, London, United Kingdom, 17/10/2018

Integrated care as fragmented care

European Health Policy Group Autumn meeting, London, United Kingdom, 21/9/2018

Populism as political performativity: implications for health policy

British Sociological Association Medical Sociology Conference, Glasgow, United Kingdom, 12/9/2018

Populism as political performativity: implications for policy

Invited presentation, London Medical Sociology Study group seminar series, London, United Kingdom, 25/1/2018

The rise of populism in Western liberal democracies: implications for health policy

European Health Policy Group Spring meeting, Health Services Management Centre, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 22/9/2017

NHS England as an Arm's Length Body: On Questions of Sponsorship and Accountability

Invited presentation, Governance of Health Conference, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 12/7/2017

This research has implications for policy on... - Why nobody listens to psychologists

British Psychological Society Annual Conference, British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Brighton, United Kingdom, 4/5/2017

Being Informed: ICT as Technique of Governmentality in the NHS

British Socioloigical Association Annual Conference, British Socioloigical Association Annual Conference, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 4/4/2017

Digital Cycling: What's big health data good for?

Open University and Cost of Living Blog workshop, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, 27/4/2016

Transforming a public good into a private bad: Political legitimacy, wilful deceit and the reform of the English NHS

Invited presentation, Workshop on Decentering Health Policy: Narratives, Resistance, Practices, Berkeley, United States, 14/1/2016

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Law, Policy and Ethics (HS651)

  • Rights Based Research and Dissertation (HS657)

  • Social Work Dissertation (HS659)

  • Clinical Research 2 (HS773)

  • Social Determinants of Health (HS869)

  • Qualitative Health Research (HS948)

Previous supervision

Paul Michael Galbally
Paul Michael Galbally
Thesis title: Connected Disconnections Negotiating Family Separation, Membership and Conflict: A Discourse Analysis
Degree subject: Applied Psychology
Degree type: Professional Doctorate
Awarded date: 4/5/2021
Timothy Giles Goodchild
Timothy Giles Goodchild
Thesis title: Logics of Technology Enhanced Learning in the Context of Nurse Education
Degree subject: Health Studies
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 27/1/2021
Anna Rachel Pettican
Anna Rachel Pettican
Thesis title: 'Getting Together to Play Football' a Participatory Action Research Study with the Positive Mental Attitude Sports Academy
Degree subject: Occupational Therapy
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 2/4/2019
Nicola Jane Rooke
Nicola Jane Rooke
Thesis title: Patient Involvement in the Assessment of Pre-Registration Adult Nursing Students Practice
Degree subject: Nursing Studies
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 10/8/2018
Laura Jane Knight
Laura Jane Knight
Thesis title: Problematising 'Happiness': A Critical Explanation of the Uk's Happiness Agenda
Degree subject: Social Policy
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 11/7/2017
Adam Churchill Flintoff
Adam Churchill Flintoff
Degree subject: Clinical Psychology (D Clin Psych)
Degree type: Professional Doctorate
Awarded date: 20/10/2016


Journal articles (37)

Mehta, J., Taggart, D., Clifford, E. and Speed, E., (2021). “They say jump, we say how high?” conditionality, sanctioning and incentivising disabled people into the UK labour market. Disability and Society. 36 (5), 681-701

De Cleen, B. and Speed, E., (2021). Getting the Problem Definition Right: The Radical Right, Populism, Nativism and Public Health Comment on "A Scoping Review of Populist Radical Right Parties’ Influence on Welfare Policy and its Implications for Population Health in Europe". International Journal of Health Policy and Management. 10 (8), 523-527

Pettican, A., Speed, E., Kilbride, C., Bryant, W. and Beresford, P., (2021). An occupational justice perspective on playing football and living with mental distress. Journal of Occupational Science. 28 (1), 159-172

Mannion, R. and Speed, E., (2021). Populism, pestilence and plague in the time of Coronavirus. International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare. ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print), 175-181

McPherson, SJ. and Speed, E., (2021). NICE rapid guidelines: exploring political influence on guidelines. BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine

Kapilashrami, A., Otis, M., Omodara, D., Nandi, A., Vats, A., Adeniyi, O., Speed, E., Potter, JL., Eder, B., Pareek, M. and Bhui, K., (2021). Ethnic disparities in health & social care workers’ exposure, protection, and clinical management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Critical Public Health, 1-14

Speed, E. and Gabe, J., (2020). The reform of the English National Health Service: professional dominance, countervailing powers and the buyers’ revolt. Social Theory and Health. 18 (1), 33-49

Speed, E. and Mannion, R., (2020). Populism and health policy: three international case studies of right-wing populist policy frames. Sociology of Health and Illness. 42 (8), 1967-1981

Asimakopoulou, K., Hoorens, V., Speed, E., Coulson, NS., Antoniszczak, D., Collyer, F., Deschrijver, E., Dubbin, L., Faulks, D., Forsyth, R., Goltsi, V., Harsløf, I., Larsen, K., Manaras, I., Olczak‐Kowalczyk, D., Willis, K., Xenou, T. and Scambler, S., (2020). Comparative optimism about infection and recovery from COVID‐19; Implications for adherence with lockdown advice. Health Expectations. 23 (6), 1502-1511

Flintoff, A., Speed, E. and McPherson, SJ., (2019). Risk assessment practice within primary mental health care: A logics perspective. Health. 23 (6), 656-674

Goodchild, T. and Speed, E., (2019). Technology enhanced learning as transformative innovation: a note on the enduring myth of TEL. Teaching in Higher Education. 24 (8), 948-963

Hammond, J., Speed, E., Allen, P., McDermott, I., Coleman, A. and Checkland, K., (2019). Autonomy, accountability, and ambiguity in arm’s-length meta-governance: the case of NHS England. Public Management Review. 21 (8), 1148-1169

Speed, E. and Taggart, D., (2019). Stigma and Mental Health: Exploring Potential Models to Enhance Opportunities for a Parity of Participation. Journal of Ethics in Mental Health. 10 (VI)

Speed, E. and Mannion, R., (2018). The Politics and Power of Populism: A Response to the Recent Commentaries. International Journal of Health Policy and Management. 6 (4), 365-366

Green, J. and Speed, E., (2018). Critical analysis, credibility, and the politics of publishing in an era of ‘fake news’. Critical Public Health. 28 (2), 129-131

Walker, C., Speed, E. and Taggart, D., (2018). Turning psychology into policy: a case of square pegs and round holes?. Palgrave Communications. 4 (1), 108-108

Pavolini, E., Kuhlmann, E., Agartan, T., Burau, V., Mannion, R. and Speed, E., (2018). Healthcare governance, professions and populism: Is there a relationship? An explorative comparison of five European countries. Health Policy. 122 (10), 1140-1148

Walker, C., Artaraz, K., Darking, M., Davies, C., Fleischer, S., Graber, R., Mwale, S., Speed, E., Terry, J. and Zoli, A., (2018). Building spaces for controversial public engagement – Exploring and challenging democratic deficits in NHS marketization. Journal of Social and Political Psychology. 6 (2), 759-775

Carter, S., Green, J. and Speed, E., (2018). Digital technologies and the biomedicalisation of everyday activities: The case of walking and cycling. Sociology Compass. 12 (4), e12572-e12572

Mehta, J., Clifford, E., Taggart, D. and Speed, E., (2018). When your mental health disappears overnight: Constant anxiety of benefit sanctions is toxic for mental health of disabled people. Clinical Psychology Forum. 312 (312), 4-6

Georgiadis, A., Corrigan, O. and Speed, E., (2017). Frontline Healthcare Staffs’ Experience of Organizing Complex Hospital Discharges: An Ethnographic Study. Ethics & Behavior. 27 (4), 335-350

Speed, E. and Mannion, R., (2017). The Rise of Post-truth Populism in Pluralist Liberal Democracies: Challenges for Health Policy. International Journal of Health Policy and Management. 6 (5), 249-251

Madden, M. and Speed, E., (2017). Beware Zombies and Unicorns: Toward Critical Patient and Public Involvement in Health Research in a Neoliberal Context. Frontiers in Sociology. 2

Speed, E., (2016). A note on the utility of austerity. Critical Public Health. 26 (1), 1-3

Speed, E., Davison, C. and Gunnell, C., (2016). The anonymity paradox in patient engagement: reputation, risk and web-based public feedback.. Med Humanit. 42 (2), 135-140

Barratt, C., Green, G. and Speed, E., (2015). Mental health and houses in multiple occupation. Journal of Public Mental Health. 14 (2), 107-117

Glynos, J., Speed, E. and West, K., (2015). Logics of marginalisation in health and social care reform: Integration, choice, and provider-blind provision. Critical Social Policy. 35 (1), 45-68

Goffey, A., Pettinger, L. and Speed, E., (2014). Politics, Policy and Privatisation in the Everyday Experience of Big Data in the NHS. Studies in Qualitative Methodology. 13, 31-50

Scambler, G., Scambler, S. and Speed, E., (2014). Civil society and the Health and Social Care Act in England and Wales: Theory and praxis for the twenty-first century. Social Science & Medicine. 123, 210-216

Speed, E. and Gabe, J., (2013). The Health and Social Care Act for England 2012: The extension of ‘new professionalism’. Critical Social Policy. 33 (3), 564-574

Harper, DJ. and Speed, E., (2012). Uncovering recovery: The resistible rise of recovery and resilience. Studies in Social Justice. 6 (1), 9-26

Glynos, J. and Speed, E., (2012). Varieties of co-production in public services: time banks in a UK health policy context. Critical Policy Studies. 6 (4), 402-433

Taggart, D. and Speed, E., (2012). It’s your problem but you need us to help you fix it: The paradox at the heart of the IAPT agenda. , Asylum Magazine for Democratic Psychiatry-Special Issue on Anti-Capitalism and Mental Health,. 19 (3), 23-24

Speed, E., (2007). Discourses of consumption or consumed by discourse? A consideration of what “consumer” means to the service user. Journal of Mental Health. 16 (3), 307-318

Speed, E., (2006). Patients, consumers and survivors: A case study of mental health service user discourses. Social Science & Medicine. 62 (1), 28-38

Speed, E., (2002). Irish Mental Health Social Movements: A Consideration of Movement Habitus. Irish Journal of Sociology. 11 (1), 62-80

West, P., Sweeting, H. and Speed, E., (2001). We Really Do Know What You Do: A Comparison of Reports from 11 Year Olds and Their Parents in Respect of Parental Economic Activity and Occupation. Sociology. 35 (2), 539-559

Books (1)

(2014). De-Medicalizing Misery II. Palgrave Macmillan UK. 9781137304650

Book chapters (7)

Speed, E. and Mannion, R., (2021). Performing Populist Health Policy: The Case of the English National Health Service. In: Managing Healthcare Organisations in Challenging Policy Contexts. Editors: Kislov, R., Burns, D., Mørk, BE. and Montgomery, K., . Palgrave Macmillan. 49- 66. 9783030810931

Speed, E., McPherson, S. and Beresford, P., (2020). Questioning the Patient Participation Imperative. In: Health and Wellbeing: The University of Essex Reader. Editors: Boncori, I. and Loughran, T., . Editoriale Scientifica. 169- 186. 9788893916639

Speed, E., (2020). Social Value. In: Critical Reflections on the Language of Neoliberalism in Education Dangerous Words and Discourses of Possibility. Editors: Themelis, S., . Routledge. 28- 34. 0367629569. 9780367629564

Fitzpatrick, R. and Speed, E., (2018). Society and Changing Patterns of Health and Disease. In: Sociology as Applied to Health and Medicine. Editors: Scambler, G., . Palgrave Macmillan. 3- 22. 1137577398. 9781137577399

Speed, E., (2017). Transforming a Public Good into a Private Bad: Political Legitimacy, Wilful Deceit and the Reform of NHS in England. In: Decentring Health Policy: Learning from British Experiences in Healthcare Governance. Editors: Bevir, M. and Waring, J., . Routledge. 187- 204. 9781138232990

Speed, E., (2011). Discourses of acceptance and resistance: Speaking out about psychiatry. In: De-Medicalizing Misery: Psychiatry, Psychology and the Human Condition. 123- 140. 9780230242715

Speed, E., (2011). Applying Soft Bureaucracy to Rhetorics of Choice: UK NHS 1983-2007. In: Managing Modernity: The End of Bureaucracy?. Editors: Clegg, SR., Harris, M. and H�pfl, H., . Oxford University Press. 9780199563647

Reports and Papers (5)

Mehta, J., Clifford, E., Taggart, D. and Speed, E., "Where your mental health disappears overnight: Disabled people's experiences of the Employment and Support Allowance Work Related Activity Group

Thiel, D., Speed, E. and Cristo, SM., (2015). The Impact of Welfare Reform in Essex: A Report for the Essex Housing Officers' Group

Anderson, B. and Speed, E., (2010). Social Media And Health: Implications For Primary Health Care Providers

Glynos, J., Howarth, D., Norval, AJ. and Speed, E., (2009). Discourse Analysis: varieties and methods

Grants and funding


NIHR CRN Eastern Social Care Research Readiness Project

National Institute for Health Research

Evaluation of Communities 360 Dementia Friendly Projects


Exploring access to healthcare with people and communities living on Traveller sites in the East of England

SHI Foundation (Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Ilness)


Patient Outcomes Project

Alzheimer's Research UK

Engagement �values�: theory, policy and practice in comparative perspective

SHI Foundation (Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Ilness)


Self care programme bid

Eastern Academic Health Science Network


Timebanking in Essex: Developing an Impact Evaluation Methodology

Colchester Community Voluntary Services

67% - The design and development of a scalable, avatar based, digital healthcare platform, driven by AI and Machine Learning technology.

Technology STrategy Board


Hospital Discharge

Healthwatch Essex


To map the impacts of social welfare reform and produce a dynamic digital map of welfare support service provision

Colne Housing Society Ltd

Information as a Regulatory Device (IARD)

West Essex CCG



Secretary of State for Health


Digital Inclusion & Social Knowledge

Solihull Care Trust

+44 (0) 1206 872847


2S2.4.17, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

13:00 - 14:00 Monday or by appointment