Dr Liz Andrews

Dr Liz Andrews

Profile

I joined the School of Law in January 2019 as Project Manager on the European Research Council funded 'Inclusive Public Space: Law, Universality and Difference in the Accessibility of Streets' project led by Professor Anna Lawson.

Prior to this I had been employed by Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust working in the field of child health leading research in primary schools in Bradford for the Born in Bradford program of research.

I completed my PhD in the School of Psychology at the University of Leeds funded via an Economic and Social Research Council studentship. I have held post-doctoral roles in the Department of Psychology at the University of Sheffield and in the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds.

My doctoral research compared the cognitive and simulated driving performance, experience of driving stress and coping skills to manage this stress, of groups of older and younger drivers. Though my PhD study was not designed specifically to challenge stereotypes or investigate discrimination against older drivers, public opinion often gives older drivers a ‘bad press’. Evidence suggests that driving cessation can lead to isolation and adversely impact the mental health of older drivers. It’s important that older drivers be supported to continue driving for as long as it is safe for them to do so as this means they retain their independence and have a longer and better quality of life. This support, for example, may include developing laws and policies to support modifications to road infrastructure, encouraging better (participatory) designed controls and displays within vehicles, improvements to public transport (services, better training for staff) and improved accessibility for streets and public environments for when older drivers ‘hang up their car keys’. Support should also extend to seeking change in public attitudes towards older drivers and older people in general so that they can easily and comfortably access the services and social experiences necessary for a full and active life. 

Responsibilities

  • Project Manager for the ERC Inclusive Public Space Project

Research interests

I have a strong background in applied research working with diverse ethnic and social communities. Prior to working on the Inclusive Public Space (IPS) project I was employed by Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and leading on research in primary schools in a multi-cultural setting for the Born in Bradford (BiB) research programme.  BiB is a large birth cohort longitudinal study which is following the lives of over 12,500 families in Bradford. It was set up in direct response to the increasing levels of child mortality in the city and is exploring the determinants of health and disease in childhood and adulthood.

Before returning to studying and a career in research I was employed by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, working at the William Merritt Disabled Living Centre (WMDLC) in Leeds. The WMDLC supports both children and adults with physical (and mental) impairments and adults with problems of mobility or physical frailty etc. due to age and associated conditions. I worked alongside occupational therapists and physiotherapists to help solve problems of mobility and accessibility. While working at the WMDLC, a Mobility Service was set up to assess older drivers wishing to return to driving following illness or injury, and to assess younger adults with impairments for their ability to learn to drive. Many older drivers were left devastated when advised that they were no longer safe to drive. My doctoral research was, at least in part, a response to this experience and a desire to objectively assess the evidence.

Qualifications

  • PhD Psychology
  • MSc Psychological Approaches to Health
  • BSc Psychology

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Disability Studies
  • Centre for Law and Social Justice