Staff Profile: Paul Brocklehurst

Paul Brocklehurst
Professor of Health Services Research and Director of NWORTH Clinical Trials Unit
01248 383218
 Y Wern, Bangor Campus

Current position

  • Professor of Health Services Research and Director of NWORTH Clinical Trials Unit

Previous positions

  • Senior Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health and NIHR Clinician Scientist

External positions

  • Co-lead for Health Services Research for Health and Care Research Wales
  • Board member on the NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research funding scheme
  • Panel member on the NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship funding scheme
  • Panel member on the NIHR In-Practice Training Fellowship funding scheme
  • Contact Editor for the Cochrane Oral Health Group
  • Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health (Salford)
  • Academic Representative on the Specialist Advisory Committee for Dental Public Health at the Royal College of Surgeons
  • Board member of the NCRI Clinical Studies Group (Primary Care Group)

Previous External Positions

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Dental Surgery 1989
  • Membership of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK)  2004
  • BSc (Hons) in Psychology [First] 2005
  • Fellowship of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) 2006
  • Post-graduate certificate in Health Psychology [Distinction]  2009
  • Doctorate in Philosophy 2009
  • Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy 2010
  • Masters in Dental Public Health [Distinction] 2011
  • Fellowship in Dental Surgery (Dental Public Health) 2013

Research interests:

I am a mixed-methods researcher who is interested in role substitution and service re-organisation. I am also interested in the efficacy, effectiveness and efficiency of NHS provision and in needs-based work-force planning, particularly relating to the provision of oral health care for older people.

In my trial Unit role, I am interested in trial design and how implementation science can improve pre, peri and post-trial processes. I am also interested in diagnostic test accuracy methodologies and in screening for common oral diseases and oral malignancy in primary care.

Esteem Factors/ Awards

  • I have contributed to a range of work-force policy groups including the Centre for Work-force Intelligence and have on-going links with the Northern Ireland Government.

External Interests

  • Keeping Shetland sheep

Why Bangor?

  • Bangor University represents an excellent platform to explore the potential of implementation science to improve pre, peri and post-trial design processes. Bangor has internationally leading implementation scientists and a forward-looking Clinical Trials Unit, which specialises in pragmatic trials and trials of complex interventions.

Previous areas of research

  • I’ve shown that non-dental members of the dental team could be better utilised to improve the capacity to care, its cost-effectiveness and equity in service provision. My review of the evidence for the Office of Fair Trading led, in part, to a change in the regulatory framework and scope of practice for allied health professionals in dentistry. 

Current & historic grants


1. Impact of a change to remuneration on the technical efficiency of dental practices: evaluation of the pilots of a new NHS Dental Contract in Northern Ireland. £479K NIHR HS&DR (Lead).
2. Wales Interventions and Cancer Knowledge about Early Diagnosis. £800K. Cancer Research Wales (co-applicant).

3. Evaluating the impact of a joint social care and NHS initiative. £234K HCRW (co-applicant).

4. Development and refinement of a Stroke friendly Oral health Promoting toolkit to improve oral self-care after discharge from hospital stroke services £150K RfPB (co-applicant).


1. Determining the optimal model for role substitution in NHS dental services. £395K NIHR HS&DR (Lead).
2. Improving the quality of dental care for patients and the public. £94K NIHR PGfAR (co-applicant).
3. The efficacy, cost-effectiveness and feasibility of screening for common dental diseases by Dental Care Professionals. £786K NIHR TCC Clinician Scientist Award (Lead).

In submission:

1. Preventing dental caries in Older People at Elevated Risk. £1.8M NIHR HTA (Lead)
2. Can H-Ts maintain the oral health of routine low-risk dental recall patients in "high-street" dental practices: a pilot study. £385K NIHR HS&DR (Lead)
3. Improving oral cleanliness in care homes. £298K Dunhill (Lead)

Facilities/Equipment/Labs that you use in your research

  • Clinical Trials Unit


I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and have supervised PhD and MPhil students to completion.

  • PhD: Evaluation of a preventive care-pathway in primary dental care (ongoing

  • PhD: Risk factors for potentially malignant oral lesions and conditions (complete).

  • PhD: A policy analysis of skill mix (complete).

  • PhD: Rationing dentistry in the National Health Service (complete).
  • PhD: Rationing orthodontic care in dentistry: A Health Economic Perspective (complete).
  • PhD: Screening for Common Dental Diseases by Dental Care Professionals (complete).
  • PhD: Interventions for Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (ongoing).
  • MRes: Feasibility and criterion validity of The Holistic and Reliable Oral Assessment Tool (THROAT) in acute dysphagic stroke patients (complete).

I currently teach on the new Applied Health Research Masters.


  • Oral Health
  • Dental Public Health
  • Older people
  • Role-substitution
  • Efficiency
  • Diagnostic Test Accuracy
  • Oral Cancer


  • Over 50 peer-reviewed publications since entering academia in 2009, including:

1. Macey R, Glenny A-M, Walsh T et al. The efficacy of screening for common dental diseases by Hygiene-Therapists: a diagnostic test accuracy study. J Dent Res. 2015. pii: 0022034514567335.
2. Brocklehurst PR, Mertz B, Jerković-Ćosić K et al. Direct access to midlevel dental providers: an evidence synthesis. J Public Health Dent 2014. PMID:24946834 | DOI:10.1111/jphd.12062
3. Dyer TA, Brocklehurst P, Glenny AM, Davies L, Tickle M, Issac A, Robinson PG. Dental auxiliaries for dental care traditionally provided by dentists. CD010076. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010076.pub2.
4. Brocklehurst PR, Price J, Glenny AM et al. The effect of different methods of remuneration on the behaviour of primary care dentists. CD009853. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009853.pub2.
5. Brocklehurst PR, Ashley J, Walsh T et al. Relative performance of different dental professional groups in screening for occlusal caries. Comm Dent Oral Epidemiol 2012; 40(3):239-46.

Click on this link for a continued list of publications on PURE .