About Josephine

Josephine Ocloo is a senior researcher and Health Foundation Improvement Science Fellow. She is based in the Centre for Implementation Science (CIS). This is one of 5 Centres within the Health Service and Population Research Department (HSPR) at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London. She is conducting research 'Developing and understanding the impact of diverse patient and public involvement in patient safety improvement activities' that will help patients to become involved in improving patient safety by working with a diverse range of service users and then evaluating the impact of their involvement in improving safety within NHS Trusts. She is a social scientist and qualitative researcher, who uses participatory and action research methods. Her main research interests include patient and public involvement and patient experience, patient safety, equality and diversity and health inequalities. She is particularly interested in bringing a more critical and social science approach to health care quality and safety improvement which tends to be dominated by positivist and quantitative approaches to measuring improvement. She originally studied for a degree in Social Science and Administration and then a masters in European Social Policy at the London School of Economics. 

Josephine previously worked as a senior lecturer in social work at London Metropolitan University. She became involved in patient safety after her daughter Krista, died as a result of a medical failure to manage her heart condition. She has campaigned for many years for justice and a new inquiry, after discovering key information was withheld by the hospital caring for Krista, into all three investigations into her death.

Since Krista’s death, Josephine has become involved in patient safety at every level of the healthcare system. 

She gained a PhD in 2008 looking at medical harm from the standpoint of those directly affected by patient safety incidents. 

She is a Patients for Patient Safety Champion, part of the Patient Safety Programme at the WHO 

She was recently appointed as a patient and public voice representative to the national ‘Learning from Deaths’ Programme Board set up by the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt in 2017.

Josephine has just finished working on a collaborative national event on ‘Participation and Diversity’ with NHS England to highlight her fellowship work. The event the first of its kind in the field of patient safety and quality was called ‘From Tokenism to Empowerment: ‘Improving Quality and Safety for Patients and Public through Diversity in Participation. It attracted a range of national and international speakers, senior executive health leaders, patients and the public and was supported by King’s College London and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The event aimed to open up a new conversation about why patient safety and quality improvement processes frequently exclude so many groups who also often have the poorest health outcomes?

In March 2016 she published an article in the BMJ Quality and Safety entitled ‘From tokenism to empowerment: progressing patient and public involvement in healthcare improvement’. This has been downloaded more then 12,000 since then.


She has also been involved in many other patient safety activities. She started off by becoming involved in implementing the recommendations from the first investigation into her daughter’s death and that of other families, even though she was unhappy with the outcome. She then went on to become chair of the Patient and Public Involvement Forum (PPIF), at the Trust under whose care Krista died, and sat on various clinical governance committees. She eventually become involved in national and international patient safety initiatives such as the Tackling Concerns Locally Working Group of the DoH Professional Regulation & Patient Safety Programme set up post the Shipman Inquiry (Oct 2007 - Jan 2009); attended with observer status the National Patient Safety Forum meetings chaired by the former chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson at the Department of Health ( Jun 2009 - Jun 2011) and became a Patients for Patient Safety Champion, part of the Patient Safety Programme at the WHO in 2008. 

Josephine has also worked with initiatives on patient and public involvement (PPI) in safety and quality with her local Academic Health Science Network and CLAHRC in North West London, acted as deputy chair of the National Patient Safety Steering Committee at NHS England and was a member of the National Patient Safety Response Advisory Panel at NHS Improvement. 

As part of her work Josephine has now published several articles on PPI in safety and quality (see below). 

Recently Published Articles:

  • Ocloo, J. Involving a greater diversity of people in healthcare processes, Health Service Journal: publication date: 22nd February 2018. 

Involving a greater diversity of people in healthcare processes Comment Health Service Journal.pdf

  • Ocloo, J & Matthews, R. (2016) From tokenism to empowerment: progressing patient and public involvement in healthcare improvement. BMJ Quality safety. 1–7. 


  • Ocloo, J. Empowering foundation trust governors to be involved in patient safety, Health service Journal: publication date: 28th August 2013.

  • Ocloo, J., O'Shea, A., Fulop, N. (2013) Empowerment or Rhetoric? Investigating the Role of NHS Foundation Trust Governors in the Governance of Patient Safety. Health Policy. Vol 111(3):301-310. Published online DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2013.05.005

  • Ocloo, J. & Fulop, N. (2011) Developing a 'Critical' Approach to Patient and Public Involvement in Patient Safety in the NHS: Learning Lessons from other parts of the Public Sector? Health Expectations June 2011.

  • Ocloo, J. (2011) 'Broadening the Patient Safety Movement: Listening, Involving and Learning from Patients and the Public'. In Rowley, C.A. & Waring, J. (eds) Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Patient Safety. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

  • Ocloo, J. (2010) Harmed patients gaining voice: Challenging dominant perspectives in the construction of medical harm and patient safety reforms. Social Science & Medicine. 71, 510-516.

  • Martin Bulmer and Josephine Ocloo (2010), 'Ethical issues in social measurement', Chapter 19 in G. Walford, V. Viswanathan and E. Tucker (eds) The SAGE Handbook of Measurement. London: Sage. Pages 377-388.

  • Bulmer, M. & Ocloo, J. (2008) 'Looking Forward – The Researcher’s Perspective'. Part Three, Chapter 10, in Strain, J.; Barnett, R.; & Jarvis, P.; (eds) Universities, Ethics and Professions. London: Routledge. Pages 127-138.

Previously Published Articles:

  • HSCNews International invited Josephine Ocloo to look at the subject of medical litigation from the viewpoint of her own experiences. Ms Ocloo provides a critical examination of the systems of investigation that are open to victims of medical harm in the UK. You can view the complete published article which goes into more depth in PDF format by clicking this link Health campaigners discuss medical litigation.pdf

  • The Break Through Programme is a self-management initiative that was set up to empower individuals affected by medical harm to work together in a supportive group context.

The Break Through Planning team was made up of Josephine, as well as Louise Price and John McConnell and was supported by AvMA as part of its support services. The concept of the Break Through Programme came into being following the success of a one day event ‘From Pain to Gain' which took place in May 2004 at Global Co operation House in London. This event was organised by what was to become the Breakthrough Planning Group and supported by AvMA and the Brahma Kumaris.

You can view the whole programme document in PDF format by clicking this link The Breakthrough Programme.pdf

You can view the complete published article which goes into more depth in PDF format by clicking this link Health campaigners discuss medical litigation.pdf

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