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    Dr Michelle Howarth is a Senior Engagement Fellow at Edge Hill University with a specialist interest in social prescribing and the use of nature based, person centred approaches to promote health and wellbeing. Michelle is passionate about promoting personalised care to support people with long term conditions and leads the National Social Prescribing Network Special Interest Group for Nursing and chairs the national PerCIE group, through which she is actively campaigning to raise awareness of social prescribing and salutogenic, personalised approaches amongst nurses, social care, AHPs & medics through research, curriculum development and placement opportunities. Michelle has led a number of funded projects exploring the value and impact of PIVO placement expansion on student learning and future integrated workforce development and is recognised nationally and internationally for her expertise and work. Michelle has collaborated with national organisations to develop standards for Social Prescribing Outcomes, Link Worker Competencies and, more recently, analysed the potential for the expansion of public health placements in non-traditional contexts. Michelle is the Chair of the Greater Manchester Integrated Care Board Shared Decision-Making Council, actively campaigning to raise the profile of social care nursing and need for integrated provision to make a positive difference.  

    Research interests

    Michelles research has evolved over two decades and has foscussed on partnership working, integration, social prescribing, personalisation and innovative placement capacity strategies. Michelle has published widely in this subjects and has been invited to speak at a number of events, conferences and panels. 

    Michelle has been awarded a range of research grants, contracts and other funding:  Michelles ability to work innovatively and creatively with industry partners has supported projects that have helped to address local and regional needs. 

    Michelle has over 60 publications across a range of formats and disciplines demonstrating partnership working and impact including 3 book chapters, 26 peer reviewed papers, 11 invited presentations, 24 research reports, and significant digital presence. 2 3* REF papers returned in 2021 REF, inclusion in an inter-disciplinary REF Impact case study

    Michelle has significant supervision experience and has supported a total of 8 PhD’s to completion over the past 7 years. Michelle has examined a total of 6 PhDs, 6 external examiner, 1 internal examiner. 

    Michelle has significant income generation from diverse sources as listed below

    • Health Education England Stakeholder Engagement Analysis to determine Expansion of Placements for Public Health (2023)
    • Learning Partner for Barnadoes Social Prescribing CYP LINK Programme 2022 :
    • Economies for Healthier Lives programme (2022) The Health Foundation 
    • Health Education England (HEE) North West Clinical Expansion Programme (2021) HEE 
    • Greater Manchester Programme Management Office (2022) 
    • GM Placement Model Development
    • Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Elemental Innovate UK (2021)
    • Measuring and monitoring the Social Value of MediaCityUK (2021) The Peel Group 
    • Evaluation of the Green Curriculum (2020) The Loyne Special Education Needs School 
    • Greater Manchester State of VCSE Sector (SOS) Evaluation (2019) Salford CVS 
    • Health Education England (HEE) Reach Out programme (2019) HEE 
    • Evaluation of the Wellbeing Matters Social Prescribing Programme (2018) Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership 
    • Growing Well - Social Prescribing with Horticulture at RHS Garden Bridgewater: (2018) Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)  
    • Evaluation of RHS Garden Bridgewater-"Wellbeing Garden" (2017) Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS) 
    • Greater Manchester Health and Social Care VCSE Engagement (2016) GMCVO: 
    • Garden Needs Evaluation Garden Needs (2014) 
    • Developing a common Quality Assurance framework for Green Care and an evaluation framework to support the roll-out of social prescribing (2015) Thrive 
    • Growing Spaces: Accessibility, Sustainability and Impact on Health and Wellbeing: Garden Needs: (2013) 


    Michelle has been an educationalist for over 22 years, during which time, Michelle has helped to develop innovative programmes and teaching approaches that support future workforce development. As leader of an MSc Nursing programme from 2015-2018, Michelle enabled global reach to China and the Middle East, attracting students who later became leaders and innovators. Michelle led the development of clinical and research pathways which influenced a fast-track level 7 APL pathway to the professional doctorate. The specialist and research pathways, led to increased numbers of PhD applications from home and international students. Michelle has championed research led teaching from levels 5-8, using innovative techniques that have brought ‘research to life’ for many UG students. In a previous role, as PGR Deputy Director Trainig, Michelle developed additional PGR training to support employability to help with the return of metrics in preparation to address the Office for Students (OFS) requirements for PGR student progression. MIchelle was the External examiner for the Professional Doctorate at MMU and the project lead for a HEE funded Clinical Placement Expansion Programme (CPEP) project, which worked with industry partners to develop innovative and creative student placements that have supported healthy communities and resilience and future student workforce development.

    External engagement

    Michelles engagement activity is extensive, working across professions, organsations and sectors to make a difference to the curricula and communities. Michelle is on a range of national, regional, international and local steering groups and has supported innovation within the social prescribing context. Michelles current memberships and appointments are listed below

    • Chair GM ICB Shared Decision Making Council
    • Member of the National Social Prescribing Steering group
    • Royal College of Nursing Research Conference Scientific Committee
    • Member of the National Green Care Coalition
    • Chair National Social Prescribing Group for Nurses, Midwives & AHP’s
    • Chair National Interprofessional Education Group for Personalised Care (PerCIE)
    • Advisor National Link Worker Education & Training Panel
    • Advisor National Social Prescribing Education and Training group
    • Steering group member National Social Prescribing Network
    • Trustee Board of Social Farms & Gardens
    • Trustee National Self-Care Forum
    • Member of the National Social Prescribing Student Championship Scheme
    • Member of the Greater Manchester ‘Manchester Amputation Reduction Strategy (MARS) Advisory board

    Michelle Chairs the National Personalised Care Interprofessional Education Network (PerCIE) is a partnership with over 100 members, including undergraduate nursing students, policy makers, HEI’s and health and social care representation from the third sector organizations such as those in the voluntary sector, non-profit organisations, charities and social enterprises aligned to the UK National Social Prescribing Network, the Personalised Institute, and the Queen’s Nursing Institute. The PerCIE Network provides a collegial platform for debate, generating socially connected, enriched learning opportunities for undergraduate nursing students in non-clinical contexts.  The Network enables members to reflect and share key issues around the wider determinants of wellbeing, facilitating greater awareness of personalised approaches, and maximising learning opportunities to prepare students for future practice across diverse health and care contexts.  The PerCIE Network is the first of its kind and has facilitated a unique integrated community of practice through collaborative approaches that are helping to shape student learning across a range of HEIs and third sector contexts. This is achieved through sharing experiences, knowledge and solutions with policy makers, practitioners, educationalists, students, and service providers. For example, the Student Prescribing Champions and students who have experienced third sector placements as part of their undergraduate nursing programme have been describing their experiences, the learning from which influences developments in innovative salutogenic practice learning opportunities, which promote approaches that support wellbeing along the life continuum. The PerCIE Network has recently collaborated with the Queens Nursing Institute and the Personalised Care Institute to produce an infographic for students signposting access to resources and opportunities that promote personalised approaches. The PerCIE Network has recently successfully reached out to other student groups, European and global societies to enable greater reach and impact on student learning, curricula development and innovation that can support students for future practice.    

    Public/media engagement

    Michelle has engaged with a range of organisations using different delivery formats. 

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 13 - Climate Action

    Education/Academic qualification

    Nursing, PhD, University of Salford


    Award Date: 20 Dec 2023

    Education, PGCHE, University of Salford


    Award Date: 7 Sept 2001

    Research, MSc, MSc Practitioner Research , Department of Nursing, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, United Kingdom


    Award Date: 10 Sept 1997

    Other positions

    Chair, Integrated Care Board Shared Decision Making Council Greater Manchester

    1 Feb 2023 → …

    Trustee, Self Care Forum

    1 Jan 2020 → …

    Trustee, Social Farms & Gardens

    1 Mar 2018 → …


    • RT Nursing
    • HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare

    Research Institutes

    • Health Research Institute
    • Institute for Creative Enterprise

    Research Centres

    • Edge Hill Primary and Integrated Care Research Centre
    • Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing

    Research Groups

    • Children and Young People Research Network


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