David Henderson

David Henderson

PhD Student Researcher

Contact Details


PhD Abstract

Integration of health and social care became law in Scotland in April 2016. One of the main aims of this legislation are to shift the balance of care from expensive secondary care health services to community and primary health care. Demographic changes mean that current funding models for health and social care are not sustainable. Another aim is to improve the journey through the health and social care system for those that need it – a key group for this aim are those with multiple long-term conditions.

Two-thirds of all adults over the age of 65 in Scotland have Multimorbidity (the presence of two or more long term health conditions). Patterns of multimorbidity follow a stark socioeconomic profile with those living in the most deprived areas more likely to have a mix of mental and physical health conditions.

Although intuitive, there is sparse evidence to suggest that social care can reduce the use of unscheduled health care. This has been partly due to difficulties in measuring the interaction between these services. New approaches using linkage of routinely collected administrative datasets offer possibilities of addressing this gap in knowledge.

Until recently social care data was not linkable to health records. This project will provide that linkage and assess the geographic, socioeconomic, and demographic variations in the provision of social care. It will also assess whether levels of multimorbidity influence social care provision. Linkage to unscheduled health care data will provide the first national assessment of the interaction between these services.

Research Interests

  • Health inequalities
  • Multimorbidity
  • Health and Social Care
  • Administrative Data Linkage


  • Scottish Government
  • Economic and Social Research Council


David is a registered nurse and continues to work part-time for NHS Scotland having gained BSc in Nursing from the University of Stirling in 2009. His nursing background is in Acute Medicine and Medical High Dependency. More recently he works for NHS24.

Following a vigorous application process in 2012, David was awarded an Early Clinical Career Fellowship (ECCF) by NHS Education for Scotland. The fellowship aimed to support enthusiastic, motivated and talented nurses and midwives at an early stage in their career to develop personally, professionally and academically. ECCF provided funding for his Masters education which resulted in the award of MRes (Health Research) from the University of Stirling in 2015.

Prior to entering academic education through Nursing in 2006, David had careers in the infantry of HM Forces (1st Battalion the Highlanders) and as a freelance assistant director and locations scout for media companies.