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Dr Joe Webb


I am a qualitative researcher with a particular interest in communication, people with learning disabilities, and people living with dementia.

I am a VC Fellow, and my fellowship project focuses on improving communication between patients with learning disabilities and clinicians in primary care services. People with learning disabilities die on average 16 years prematurely from preventable deaths. Communication difficulties reduce access to medical care and play a major role in the health inequalities of patients with learning disabilities. GP appointments are often the gateway for patients with learning disabilties to interact with health services.

My research interests focus on interaction, disability studies, health care encounters and how to make changes to policy and practice. These interests are informed by ten years working experience in social care services for people with intellectual disabilities.

I am experienced in making direct recordings of practice and using Conversation Analysis to explore and analyse specific components of interaction. I have applied this to my current work, as well as my doctoral research conducted at the University of Nottingham, which focused on staff interactions about shared patients with intellectual disabilties, and how they interpretted their behaviours. 

From 2018-2019 I worked worked on a large collaborative CA study with Professor Geraldine Leydon-Hudson (Southampton) and Rebecca Barnes (Bristol) on the management of common infections in out-of-hours primary care services. 

I was also employed as a Research Associate on the Narratives of Home project (2016 - 2017) which explored the lives and stories of people with intellectual disabilties after they left Assesment and Treatment Unit care. 

I led the ESRC IAA funded project entitled  'Forget-me-Not Dementia Training Videos', in which we are collaboratively creating training videos with co-researchers with dementia for, dementia staff. The videos can be watched and downloaded here:

I have also been awarded an RCF grant to explore the feasability of recording and analysing Annual Health Checks for patients with intellectual disabilties. 

My other research interests are in social care, social work, primary care interactions, and dementia. I am also a member of the UoB Conversation Analysis Research Group.

I have presented at a number of intellectual disability, dementia, sociology and conversation analysis conferences, and will be part of an upcoming panel at the International Conference of Conversation Analysis in 2018.




Bristol Medical School (PHS)

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