Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Margaret Watson

Professor of Health Services Research

5 West - 3.33


Tel: +44 (0) 1225 386787 


Professor Margaret C. Watson


I joined the University of Bath in October 2016 and I lead the Health and Clinical Research theme in the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. I registered as a pharmacist in 1987 and worked as a clinical pharmacist for eight years in various hospitals throughout the UK and more recently spent three years in pharmaceutical public health. 

I moved into health services research in the 1990s and was awarded my PhD (1998) from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Bristol. Along the way, I was awarded an MSc Epidemiology (2003) and Certificate in Pharmacovigilance and Pharmacoepidemiology (2001) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as well as an MSc Clinical Pharmacy from the University of Strathclyde (1989).  

Much of my academic career has been supported by Fellowships from the Medical Research Council, Leverhulme Foundation and South West Regional Health Authority.

My current Health Foundation Improvement Science Fellowship is a senior post-doctoral Fellowship which includes a unique leadership development programme.

My wider academic roles have included membership of the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office Health Improvement, Protection and Services Research Committee and the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice editorial board.

I chaired the Royal Pharmaceutical Conference (2012), Health Services Research and Pharmacy Practice Conference (2014) and the International Social Pharmacy Workshop (2016).

Research interests

The overall purpose of my research is to optimise patient outcome through:

  • the safe and effective use of medicines
  • effective professional practice

My research is collaborative and multi-disciplinary and draws on different theoretical approaches and methodologies.

The methods which I use include:

  • systematic literature reviews to synthesise existing evidence
  • qualitative methods that are theoretically-underpinned, to explore the behaviour of service users (patients/consumers) or providers (pharmacists, pharmacy personnel, other health care professionals) to identify key determinants of specific behaviours
  • quantitative methods (randomised controlled trials, cohort studies, questionnaires) to develop and test the effect of interventions to achieve behaviour change i.e. evidence based practice, quality improvement in health service delivery and patient outcomes 


SESAME (Safe and Effective Supply And use of MEdicines)

The purpose of this research programme is to optimise the management of acute consultations in community pharmacies. Acute consultations can include advice-seeking for the management of a symptom or condition, or requests to purchase a specific non-prescription medicine (NPM).

Triads-P (Translational Research in a Pharmacy setting)

I am the lead for the pharmacy component of a translational research programme (TRiaDS) funded by NHS Education for Scotland. 

The MINA (Minor Ailment) Study

The purpose of this two-year programme funded by Pharmacy Research UK was to explore the contribution which community pharmacy could make to the management of minor ailments and the impact this could have on demand in high cost health care settings e.g. general medical practices, emergency departments (EDs). The results have been widely disseminated and informed national policy for out-of-hours care in Scotland.


Inch, J., Notman, F., Watson, M., Green, D., Baird, R., Ferguson, J., Hind, C., McKinstry, B., Strath, A. and Bond, C., 2017. Tele-pharmacy in rural Scotland:a proof of concept study. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 25 (3), pp. 210-219.

Mamas, M. A., Sperrin, M., Watson, M. C., Coutts, A., Wilde, K., Burton, C., Kadam, U. T., Kwok, C. S., Clark, A. B., Murchie, P., Buchan, I., Hannaford, P. C. and Myint, P. K., 2017. Do patients have worse outcomes in heart failure than in cancer? A primary care-based cohort study with 10-year follow-up in Scotland. European Journal of Heart Failure

Busby, J., Murchie, P., Murray, L., Iversen, L., Lee, A. J., Spence, A., Watson, M. C. and Cardwell, C. R., 2017. The effect of medications which cause inflammation of the gastro-oesophageal tract on cancer risk:a nested case-control study of routine Scottish data. International Journal of Cancer, 140 (8), pp. 1828-1835.

Newlands, R. S., Power, A., Young, L. and Watson, M., 2017. Quality improvement of community pharmacy services:a prioritisation exercise. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice

Porteous, T., Bond, C., Ryan, M., Watson, V. and Watson, M., 2017. Patient satisfaction in community pharmacy. The Pharmaceutical Journal, 298 (7899), p. 169.

Fingleton, N. A., Watson, M. C., Duncan, E. M. and Matheson, C., 2016. Non-prescription medicine misuse, abuse and dependence:a cross-sectional survey of the UK general population. Journal of Public Health, 38 (4), pp. 722-730.

Inch, J., Porteous, T., Maskrey, V., Blyth, A., Burr, J., Cleland, J., Wright, D. J., Holland, R., Bond, C. M. and Watson, M. C., 2016. It's not what you do it's the way that it's measured:quality assessment of minor ailment management in community pharmacies. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice

Namadian, M., Presseau, J., Watson, M. C., Bond, C. M. and Sniehotta, F. F., 2016. Motivational, volitional and multiple goal predictors of walking in people with type 2 diabetes. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 26, pp. 83-93.

Porteous, T., Ryan, M., Bond, C., Watson, M. and Watson, V., 2016. Managing minor ailments:the public's preferences for attributes of community pharmacies. A discrete choice experiment. PLoS ONE, 11 (3), e0152257.

Macfarlane, T. V., Murchie, P. and Watson, M. C., 2015. Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug prescriptions and survival after the diagnosis of head and neck and oesophageal cancer. Cancer Epidemiology, 39 (6), pp. 1015-1022.

Fitzgerald, N., Youngson, E., Cunningham, S., Watson, M. and Stewart, D., 2015. Support for community pharmacy-based alcohol interventions:a Scottish general public survey. Public Health, 129 (11), pp. 1431-1438.

Koshoedo, S. A., Paul-Ebhohimhen, V. A., Jepson, R. G. and Watson, M. C., 2015. Understanding the complex interplay of barriers to physical activity amongst black and minority ethnic groups in the United Kingdom:a qualitative synthesis using meta-ethnography. BMC Public Health, 15, p. 643.

Neilson, A. R., Bruhn, H., Bond, C. M., Elliott, A. M., Smith, B. H., Hannaford, P. C., Holland, R., Lee, A. J., Watson, M., Wright, D. and McNamee, P., 2015. Pharmacist-led management of chronic pain in primary care:costs and benefits in a pilot randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open, 5 (4), e006874.

Ngwerume, K., Watson, M., Bond, C. and Blenkinsopp, A., 2015. An evaluation of an intervention designed to improve the evidence-based supply of non-prescription medicines from community pharmacies. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 23 (2), pp. 102-110.

Fielding, S., Porteous, T., Ferguson, J., Maskrey, V., Blyth, A., Paudyal, V., Barton, G., Holland, R., Bond, C. M. and Watson, M. C., 2015. Estimating the burden of minor ailment consultations in general practices and emergency departments through retrospective review of routine data in North East Scotland. Family Practice, 32 (2), pp. 165-172.

Watson, M. C., Ferguson, J., Barton, G. R., Maskrey, V., Blyth, A., Paudyal, V., Bond, M. C., Holland, R., Porteous, T., Sach, T. H., Wright, D. and Fielding, S., 2015. A cohort study of influences, health outcomes and costs of patients' health-seeking behaviour for minor ailments from primary and emergency care settings. BMJ Open, 5 (2), e006261.

Watson, M. C., Johnston, M., Entwistle, V., Lee, A. J., Bond, C. M. and Fielding, S., 2014. Using the theory of planned behaviour to develop targets for interventions to enhance patient communication during pharmacy consultations for non-prescription medicines. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 22 (6), pp. 386-396.

Macfarlane, T. V., Lefevre, K. and Watson, M. C., 2014. Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use and the risk of upper aerodigestive tract cancer. British Journal of Cancer, 111 (9), pp. 1852-1859.

Reddy, A., Watson, M., Hannaford, P., Lefevre, K. and Ayansina, D., 2014. Provision of hormonal and long-acting reversible contraceptive services by general practices in Scotland, UK (2004-2009). Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, 40 (1), pp. 23-29.

Paudyal, V., Watson, M. C., Sach, T., Porteous, T., Bond, C. M., Wright, D. J., Cleland, J., Barton, G. and Holland, R., 2013. Are pharmacy-based minor ailment schemes a substitute for other service providers?:a systematic review. British Journal of General Practice, 63 (612), e472-e481.

Bruhn, H., Bond, C. M., Elliott, A. M., Hannaford, P. C., Lee, A. J., McNamee, P., Smith, B. H., Watson, M. C., Holland, R. and Wright, D., 2013. Pharmacist-led management of chronic pain in primary care:results from a randomised controlled exploratory trial. BMJ Open, 3 (4), e002361.

Irwin, A., Mearns, K., Watson, M. and Urquhart, J., 2013. The effect of proximity, Tall Man lettering, and time pressure on accurate visual perception of drug names. Human Factors : Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 55 (2), pp. 253-266.

Desplenter, F., Bond, C., Watson, M., Burton, C., Murchie, P., Lee, A. J., Lefevre, K., Simoens, S. and Laekeman, G., 2012. Incidence and drug treatment of emotional distress after cancer diagnosis:a matched primary care case-control study. British Journal of Cancer, 107 (9), pp. 1644-1651.

Inch, J., Watson, M. C. and Anakwe-Umeh, S., 2012. Patient versus healthcare professional spontaneous adverse drug reaction reporting:a systematic review. Drug Safety, 35 (10), pp. 807-818.

Hanna, L.-A., Hughes, C. and Watson, M., 2012. Where's the evidence?:over-the-counter medicines and pharmacy practice. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 20 (5), pp. 275-276.

Cleland, J. A., Watson, M. C., Walker, L., Denison, A., Vanes, N. and Moffat, M., 2012. Community pharmacists' perceptions of barriers to communication with migrants. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 20 (3), pp. 148-154.

Gordon, J., Watson, M. and Avenell, A., 2011. Lightening the load? A systematic review of community pharmacy-based weight management interventions. Obesity Reviews, 12 (11), pp. 897-911.

Avery, A. J., Anderson, C., Bond, C. M., Fortnum, H., Gifford, A., Hannaford, P. C., Hazell, L., Krska, J., Lee, A. J., McLernon, D. J., Murphy, E., Shakir, S. and Watson, M. C., 2011. Evaluation of patient reporting of adverse drug reactions to the UK 'Yellow card scheme':Literature review, descriptive and qualitative analyses, and questionnaire surveys. Health Technology Assessment, 15 (20), pp. 1-234.

McLernon, D. J., Bond, C. M., Lee, A. J., Watson, M. C., Hannaford, P. C., Fortnum, H., Krska, J., Anderson, C., Murphy, E., Avery, A. and , Y. C. S. C., 2011. Patient views and experiences of making adverse drug reaction reports to the Yellow Card Scheme in the UK. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, 20 (5), pp. 523-531.

Newlands, R. S., Watson, M. C. and Lee, A. J., 2011. The provision of current and future Healthy Weight Management (HWM) services from community pharmacies:a survey of community pharmacists' attitudes, practice and future possibilities. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 19 (2), pp. 106-114.

Gale, A. and Watson, M. C., 2011. The provision of current and future sexual health services from community pharmacies in Grampian, Scotland. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, 33 (2), pp. 183-190.

Mujakperuo, H. R., Watson, M., Morrison, R. and Macfarlane, T. V., 2010. Pharmacological interventions for pain in patients with temporomandibular disorders. The Cochrane Library

McLernon, D. J., Bond, C. M., Hannaford, P. C., Watson, M. C., Lee, A. J., Hazell, L., Avery, A. and , Y. C. C., 2010. Adverse drug reaction reporting in the UK:a retrospective observational comparison of yellow card reports submitted by patients and healthcare professionals. Drug Safety, 33 (9), pp. 775-788.

Watson, M. C., Cleland, J. A. and Bond, C. M., 2009. Simulated patient visits with immediate feedback to improve the supply of over-the-counter medicines:a feasibility study. Family Practice, 26 (6), pp. 532-542.

Watson, M. C. and Blenkinsopp, A., 2009. The feasibility of providing community pharmacy-based services for alcohol misuse:A literature review. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 17 (4), pp. 199-205.

Hopf, Y., Watson, M. and Williams, D., 2008. Adverse-drug-reaction related admissions to a hospital in Scotland. Pharmacy World & Science, 30 (6), pp. 854-862.

Williams, D. J., Olsen, S., Crichton, W., Witte, K., Flin, R., Ingram, J., Campbell, M. K., Watson, M., Hopf, Y. and Cuthbertson, B. H., 2008. Detection of adverse events in a Scottish hospital using a consensus-based methodology. Scottish Medical Journal, 53 (4), pp. 26-30.

Watson, M. C., Hart, J., Johnston, M. and Bond, C. M., 2008. Exploring the supply of non-prescription medicines from community pharmacies in Scotland. Pharmacy World & Science, 30 (5), pp. 526-535.

This list was generated on Sat Aug 19 17:16:14 2017 IST.

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