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Dr Emma Stevens

Profile summary

Professional biography

Emma is currently (part-time) staff tutor for the social work programme in the north of England. She has an MA and diploma in social work; an MSc in leadership & management in health and social care; an Advanced Social Work Award, as well as being a qualified Best Interest Assessor and practice educator. Emma also has a PhD in Sociology and Social Anthropology.

Since qualifying as a social worker in 2000, Emma has worked across a variety of social care settings (statutory and voluntary) in both children and adult services.  This includes over 10 years’ experience of working in the NHS in various roles including: practice learning facilitator, safeguarding adults practitioner, designated safeguarding adult professional, and practice learning lead for safeguarding children. When not working for the Open University, Emma currently works for an Integrated Care Board.  

Research interests

Emma’s research interests are inter-professional in nature, spanning across health, social care and sociology.  Her past publications have focused on safeguarding issues, the Mental Capacity Act, and leadership in health organisations.

For her PhD, Emma undertook an ethnography of dignity in community nursing care with older adults.  She has presented this research internationally and has published several papers from this project.   

Teaching interests

Emma is passionate about widening participation in education.  In her former roles, she has taught on University access courses, as well as degree courses including BA(hons) and MA social work, BA(hons) in Youth and Community Work and BA(hons) in Social and Community Studies.


“Just because people are old, just because they're ill…” dignity matters in district nursing (2022)
Stevens, Emma; Price, Liz and Walker, Liz
The Journal of Adult Protection, 24(1) (pp. 3-14)

Dressings and dignity in community nursing (2021-11-02)
Stevens, Emma; Price, Elizabeth and Walker, Liz
British Journal of Community Nursing, 26(11) (pp. 526-531)

Making the mundane remarkable: an ethnography of the ‘dignity encounter’ in community district nursing (2021)
Stevens, Emma; Price, Elizabeth and Walker, Elizabeth
Ageing and Society, 43(4)

Safeguarding vulnerable adults: learning from the reflective assignments of pre-registration students in the adult field of nursing practice (2015)
Stevens, Emma and Cook, Katie
The Journal of Adult Protection, 17(1) (pp. 31-40)

How does leadership contribute to safeguarding vulnerable adults within healthcare organisations? A review of the literature (2015)
Stevens, Emma L.
The Journal of Adult Protection, 17(4) (pp. 258-272)

Empowering adults under the Mental Capacity Act (2014-10)
Stevens, Emma and Hebblewhite, Gillian
Learning Disability Practice, 17(8) (pp. 16-20)

The Mental Capacity Act 2005: considerations for nursing practice (2013-09-11)
Stevens, Emma
Nursing Standard, 28(2) (pp. 35-39)

Conducting interviews with failing students (2013-02-23)
Stevens, Emma
Nursing Times, 109(8) (pp. 22-24)

Safeguarding vulnerable adults: exploring the challenges to best practice across multi‐agency settings (2013)
Stevens, Emma
The Journal of Adult Protection, 15(2) (pp. 85-95)