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Helen Atherton

Job Title
Associate Professor
WMS - Health Sciences
Research Interests

Currently I am Associate Professor of Primary Care Research and Digital Health lead at the Unit of Academic Primary Care, Warwick Medical School. My expertise is in use of digital routes of access to general practice, and alternatives to the face-to-face consultation, such as email and video. My professional roles include membership of the NHS England Primary Care Digital Transformation Advisory Board and I advise professional bodies and NHS organisations in the evidence based use of digital consultations in general practice. I am an associate editor for the journal 'Digital Health' and sit on the Royal College of General Practitioners Scientific Foundation Board. I lead studies that focus on how digital technologies impact on patients and healthcare professionals in general practice settings. Whilst I use mixed method approaches, my particular expertise is in qualitative and review methodology.


I am a health services researcher and my career has been exclusively in primary care research. Before joining the Unit of Academic Primary Care at Warwick in Nov 2015 I was a NIHR School for Primary Care Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, where I established my post-doctoral research programme. Prior to that I completed a PhD in Primary Care Health Services Research at Imperial College London. My first research post in 2005 was at St George's, University of London. I have a Master of Public Health (Imperial College), and MSc in Biological Anthropology and a BSc in Ecology (University of Durham).

Title Funder Award start Award end
The impact of the large-scale implementation of online consultations in primary care in Norway: a mixed-methods evaluation on health system, general practitioners and patients Research Council of Norway 01 Aug 2021 31 Jul 2025
Use of automated mobile application as an alternative point of entry to healthcare WCPRS 2018 Advanced Computer Software Group Limited 01 Oct 2019 31 Mar 2023
Effects of a pandemic (COVID19) on GP registrars' training and career plans: what are the implications for vocational training in the future? The IMPACT study Royal College of General Practitioners 12 Oct 2020 30 Jun 2022
Digital Facilitators in Primary Care NIHR Digital Health Call via Exeter National Institute for Health Research (DoH) 01 Jun 2020 30 Jun 2022
The experiences and perceptions of older people, their carers and their general practice teams in using a 'telephone first' approeach for access to appointments NIHR RfPB T3 Full Application (outline 61742) National Institute for Health Research (DoH) 01 Jul 2020 30 Jun 2021
NIHR RDS award to Jo Parsons via University of Birmingham support the early involvement of patients and the public to help develop research funding application National Institute for Health Research (NIHR DoH) 24 Mar 2020 31 Dec 2020
NIHR RfPB Second Stage: Investigating patient use of, and experience of online booking in primary care National Institute for Health Research (DoH) 01 Jul 2019 31 Oct 2020
Content analysis of e mail consultations between general practitioners and patients Royal College of General Practitioners 01 Apr 2016 31 Oct 2020
PhD student project funded by University Hospitals Birmingham University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust 01 Oct 2017 30 Sep 2020
Care Research Network funding - CRN Core funding for 2019-2020 Additional funds link to 63705 Keele University 01 Oct 2019 31 Mar 2020
In-Practice Fellowship Dr Arun Thiyagarajan National Institute for Health Research (DoH) 01 Sep 2017 31 Aug 2019
"Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a fully self-guided internet-based intervention for sub-clinical social anxiety symptoms: pragmatic, population-based randomised controlled trial." University of Oxford 12 Nov 2015 01 Mar 2019
Feasibility, acceptability and nature of video consultation via the internet in general practice via University of Edinburgh Chief Scientist Office 01 Jan 2017 30 Jun 2018
INQUIRE National Institute for Health Research (DoH) 12 Nov 2015 31 Oct 2017
The potential of alternatives to face to face consultation in general practice, and the impact on different patient groups" National Institute for Health Research (DoH) 27 Jan 2016 31 Dec 2016