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Public Health Institute

Dr Gordon Hay

Dr Gordon Hay

Telephone: 0151 231 4385



Dr Gordon Hay is a Reader in Social Epidemiology within the Public Health Institute. Prior to that appointment he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Drug Misuse Research at the University of Glasgow. His research has focused on the application of epidemiological and statistical methodologies within the area of drug or alcohol use and in his new position he aims to further develop this work more into other areas of public health.

Gordon’s main research has been developing and applying statistical methods to estimate the number of people who use drugs such as heroin or crack cocaine. Traditional surveys are often inappropriate therefore other approaches, such as the capture-recapture method, have been developed. He has carried out such work at the local, national and international level and has led a programme of research studies that have produced the annual estimates of opiate / crack cocaine use in England. He is currently carrying out a study in Ireland to provide up-to-date estimates of the prevalence of opiate use.

He is the UK Scientific Expert to the EMCDDA for their Problem Drug Use Key Indicator and has carried out a range of projects for the EMCDDA and other international organisations such as the UNODC in various countries including the Baltic States and Turkey. Gordon has collaborated with qualitative and quantitative colleagues in a number of studies, including research that quantified and sought to understand benefit uptake by drug or alcohol users for the DWP.

He has been involved in a number of large-scale evaluations, such a multi-method evaluation of the UK Government funded programme of drugs prevention projects within Health Action Zones. He also led studies looking at the social and economic costs of drug use and the likely size of the Scottish drugs market. Gordon’s PhD at the University of Strathclyde used mathematical models to examine the spread of HIV amongst people who inject drugs and he still maintains an interest in blood-borne virus epidemiology and drug-related mortality and has continued to publish in these areas.

Gordon also collaborated with colleagues at the Universities of Bath and Stirling on an ESRC funded study on bereavement following substance use. A set of guidelines for practitioners has been published as part of this study.


2002, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom, MPH
1999, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom, PhD
1991, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom, BSc (Hons)

Academic appointments

Reader in Social Epidemiology, Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moore University, 2016 - present
Reader in Social Epidemiology, Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University, 2012 - 2016
Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, 2011 - 2012
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Drug Misuse Research, University of Glasgow, 2005 - 2011
Research Fellow, Centre for Drug Misuse Research, University of Glasgow, 2000 - 2005
Research Assistant, Centre for Drug Misuse Research, University of Glasgow, 1994 - 2000


Journal article

Wiessing L, Ferri M, Běláčková V, Carrieri P, Friedman SR, Folch C, Dolan K, Galvin B, Vickerman P, Lazarus JV, Mravčík V, Kretzschmar M, Sypsa V, Sarasa-Renedo A, Uusküla A, Paraskevis D, Mendão L, Rossi D, van Gelder N, Mitcheson L, Paoli L, Gomez CD, Milhet M, Dascalu N, Knight J, Hay G, Kalamara E, Simon R, EUBEST working group , Comiskey C, Rossi C, Griffiths P. 2017. Monitoring quality and coverage of harm reduction services for people who use drugs: a consensus study. Harm Reduct J, 14 :19-19 DOI Author Url Public Url

Templeton L, Valentine C, McKell J, Ford A, Velleman R, Walter T, Hay G, Bauld L, Hollywood J. 2017. Bereavement following a fatal overdose: The experiences of adults in England and Scotland Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 24 :58-66 DOI Author Url Public Url

Templeton L, Ford A, McKell J, Valentine C, Walter T, Velleman R, Bauld L, Hay G, Hollywood J. 2016. Bereavement through substance use: findings from an interview study with adults in England and Scotland Addiction Research and Theory, 24 :341-354 DOI Author Url Public Url

Hansen N, Hay G, Cowan S, Jepsen P, Bygum Krarup H, Obel N, Weis N, Brehm Christensen P. 2013. Hepatitis B prevalence in Denmark - An estimate based on nationwide registers and a national screening programme, as on 31 December 2007 Eurosurveillance, 18 DOI Author Url

Bauld L, McKell J, Carroll C, Hay G, Smith K. 2012. Benefits and employment: How problem drug users experience welfare and routes into work Journal of Social Policy, 41 :751-768 DOI Author Url

Christensen PB, Hay G, Jepsen P, Omland LH, Just SA, Krarup HB, Weis N, Obel N, Cowan S. 2012. Hepatitis C prevalence in Denmark -an estimate based on multiple national registers BMC INFECTIOUS DISEASES, 12 DOI Author Url

Hay G, Gannon M, MacDougall J, Eastwood C, Williams K, Millar T. 2010. Opiate and crack cocaine use: A new understanding of prevalence DRUGS-EDUCATION PREVENTION AND POLICY, 17 :135-147 DOI Author Url

Millar T, Gemmell I, Hay G, Heller RF, Donmall M. 2006. How well do trends in incidence of heroin use reflect hypothesised trends in prevalence of problem drug use in the North West of England? ADDICTION RESEARCH & THEORY, 14 :537-549 DOI Author Url