Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Honorary Clinical Research Fellow





319Reynolds BuildingCharing Cross Campus





I am a GP principal in Islington and an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow based at Imperial College London. This Fellowship award will be for 5 years part-time, from September 2017 to August 2022. I am based at the Child Health Unit at the Department of Primary Care and Public Health. My supervision team consists of Professor Sonia Saxena (primary supervisor), Dr Alex Bottle and Professor Helen Ward.

My main research interest is in improving access and delivery of sexual and reproductive healthcare in UK general practice. I have a broad definition of sexual health which includes: contraception, abortion, sexually transmitted infections, HIV as well as sexual well-being and improving experience of LGBT patients.

I have a wider interest in public health, health services and how to influence behaviour of primary care practitioners to improve practice and healthcare delivery.

I was awarded Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2017; my thesis examined behaviour of general practitioners to deliver public health programmes –in short, financial incentive is not the answer!

During my NIHR In-Practice Fellowship (1/12/2014 to 30/11/2016), I conducted a feasibility study using large database of electronic health records from general practice (Clinical Practice Research Datalink - CPRD) to examine trends in abortions in UK general practice. I am building on this for my doctoral research fellowship project. Using the CPRD and focus group interviews, I will examine how we can improve contraceptive care in UK general practice.

Aside from generating research, I am interested in using innovative ways to communicate with the public and professionals. I want to explore using Twitter, YouTube, infographics, theatre and Instagram to do just that. I am quite active on Twitter – my handles are @Richard_GP and @GP_SexualHealth; I am still exploring Instagram – my handle is richard_ma on there.



Gillespie D, Williams A, Wood F, et al., 2023, Psychometric Properties of an Adapted Stigma Scale and Experiences of Stigma Associated with HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Use Among Men Who have Sex with Men: A Mixed Methods Study, Aids and Behavior, Vol:27, ISSN:1090-7165, Pages:2397-2410

Gillespie D, de Bruin M, Hughes DA, et al., 2023, Between- and Within-Individual Sociodemographic and Psychological Determinants of PrEP Adherence Among Men Who have Sex with Men Prescribed a Daily PrEP Regimen in Wales, Aids and Behavior, Vol:27, ISSN:1090-7165, Pages:1564-1572

Charles H, McCall H, Mason A, et al., 2023, Spotlight on drug-resistant <i>Shigella</i>: raising awareness within general practice, British Journal of General Practice, Vol:73, ISSN:0960-1643, Pages:187-188

Ma R, Foley K, Saxena S, 2022, Access to and use of contraceptive care during the first COVID-19 lockdown in the UK: a web-based survey., Bjgp Open, Vol:6

Gillespie D, Wood F, Williams A, et al., 2022, Experiences of men who have sex with men when initiating, implementing and persisting with HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, Health Expectations, Vol:25, ISSN:1369-6513, Pages:1332-1341

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