Virginia Hernandez Santiago

Dr, Dr

  • KY16 9TF

    United Kingdom

Accepting Postgraduate Research Students

PhD projects

Infectious disease epidemiology
Antimicrobial stewardship
Primary care research
Health services research

Personal profile

Research overview


Experienced clinical academic with over 12 years of reserach experience and 16 years of clinical experience, both in UK and Spain. She is currently an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the School of Medicine in St Andrews, and current Clinical Lead for Healthcare Improvement and Digital Transformation at Hospital Quironsalud Clideba in Spain, after spending 12 years in academia in Scotland (Universities of Dundee and St Andrews). Her research focuses on infectious disease epidemiology and antimicrobial stewardship, health services research, and the use of digital technologies for improving patient care with a focus on prevention, prediction, and patient safety.

She is also part of the EU GRIN (General Practice Research on Infections) Network, having collaborated with over seven EU countries and US. 

Personal Research Fellowships held

  • NRS Career Development Fellowship. NHS Research Scotland. 2018-2021.
  • Clinical Academic Doctoral Training Fellowship. Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government. 2013-2017.
  • Academic Fellowship in General Practice. NHS Education for Scotland, 2012.
  • Academic Fellowship in General Practice. NHS Education for Scotland, 2011.

Current Research Projects

  1. Evaluating the effectiveness and implementation process of population-level interventions to reduce inappropriate use of antibiotics in primary care settings to inform policy development in Canada. Xiaolin Wei (co-PI), Donald Christopher Sheppard (co-PI), Frank Sullivan, Michael Richard Kidd, Sara Allin, Karen Beth Born, Virginia Hernandez Santiago et al. Canadian Institute for Health Research. $299,980. July 2023 - June2025.
  2. Developing antimicrobial stewardship in primary care out-of-hours in Scotland: understanding current antimicrobial prescribing practices. World-Leading Doctoral Scholarship in Medicine 2022 funded by St Leonards Posgraduate College. Supervisors: Dr Virginia H Santiago, Prof Colin McCowan and Dr Veronica O'Carroll. In partnership with Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group. 
  3. The impact of interprofessional collaborative practice on health and care outcomes in patients with multimorbidity. Funded by Wellcome Trust DTP on Multimorbidity. Supervisory team: Dr Veronica O'Carroll, Dr Virginia H Santiago and Prof Frank Sullivan. 
  4. Lived experience of long term COVID-19 on NHS workers in health care settings in Scotland: a longitudinal mixed methods study. N Torrance, A Grant, C Kennedy, F Douglas, A Kidd, V Hernandez Santiago, D Skatun. Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government. £294,605. February 2021 - November 2022.
  5. V Hernandez Santiago (PI), C McCowan, P Thorpe, U Agrawal. Background regional antibiotic use and individual risk of antibiotic resistance in E. coli bacteraemia in Scotland: a population-based cohort study. Northwood Trust, £14,520. January - December 2021. 
  6. V Hernandez Santiago, F Sullivan, B Lipworth, C Jackson, C McCowan, D Morales. Does inhaled corticosteroid use impact on clinical outcomes in COPD and asthma  patients with COVID-19 infection in real life? 2020-2021. Internal funds. 
  7. Effectiveness of the MultiPAP Plus intervention in young-old patients with multimorbidity and polypharmacy aimed at improving prescription in primary care: cluster RCT. Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (FIS). PI18/01515. (co-applicant ). Lead PI Prof Isabel del Cura. €40,020. 2018-2021.
  8. Urinary tract infection in adults in primary care in Spain: incidence, aetiology, drug prescription and antibiotic resistance (2009-2018). STUDY ITURA-AP. Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (FIS) (PI19/01700) (co-applicant). Lead PI Dr Jesus Redondo. €27,346. 2019-2022.

Research methodology

  • Evidence synthesis and meta-analysis
  • Advanced statistical methods including multivariate and multilevel regression modelling.
  • Big data linkage. Health Data Science 
  • Epidemiological studies: case-control studies, cohort studies, prevalence studies, pharmacoepidemiology.
  • Intervention development including feasibility trials
  • Rapid diagnostic studies
  • Policy evaluation
  • Mixed-methods research

Current PhD Supervision

  • Elbina Advich: "Developing antimicrobial stewardship in primary care out-of-hours in Scotland: understanding current antimicrobial prescribing practices". 
  • Josie Murray: "The impact of interprofessional collaborative practice on health and care outcomes in patients with multimorbidity". 

Past projects:

  1. Stephen Gillespie (co-PI), Robert Hammond, Frank Sullivan and V Hernandez Santiago (co-PI). SLIC: A feasibility study of a novel, rapid diagnostic test for uncomplicated urinary tract infections in primary care. NHS Fife Endowment Fund. £64,775. 2018 – 2020
  2. V. Hernandez Santiago (PI), B Guthrie, C Marwick y P Donnan. A multilevel analysis of the impact of changes in antimicrobial prescribing on antimicrobial resistance. Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government (CAF-12-17). £232,847. 2013 - 2017
  3. V. Hernandez Santiago (PI), B Guthrie, P G Davey, P Donnan, G Orange, H Steele. Quinolone exposure and its relation to quinolone resistance in Primary Care. Royal College of GPs Scientific Foundation Board (RCGP_SFB_2011-17). £10,942. 2012 - 2014.
  4. e-EDUCAGUIA: an intervention to implement adherence to clinical practice guidelines among Spanish GP trainees). Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (FIS) (PI11/0047). (co-applicant). Lead PI Prof Isabel del Cura. €51,300. 2011-2016.
  5. Management of housbound patients with suspected urinary infection in out-of-hours: audit of current practice. Room for improvement? - Virginia Hernandez Santiago (PI, main supervisor).
  6. How do clinical decision support systems affect the prescription of antibiotics in respiratory tract infections in A&E? A systematic review. Virginia Hernandez Santiago (PI, main supervisor).
  7. Antimicrobial treatment and treatment duration for urinary tract infections in adult males.Akke Vellinga (PI), Karen Farrell, Meera Tandan, Ingvild Vik, Virginia Hernandez Santiago, Marius Skow, Anja Brand, Ildiko Gagyor, Filip Jansaker, Gail Hayward. April - December 2019.


Teaching activity

Teaching experience (from 2018 onwards)

University teaching

  • Clinical and communication skills 
  • Lectures on infection. 
  • Interprofessional Education
  • BSc Honours projects supervisor. 
  • Health Informatics development lead for ScotGEM.
  • Pastoral role: personal tutor for medical students 
  • Former Undergraduate Research Coordinator and INSPIRE Lead
  • MSc Digital Health - Learning Health Systems

Teaching in clinical practice

  • Supervision of medical students (Dundee MBChB 4th and 5th years) in Primary Care Emergency Service.
  • Supervision of ScotGEM students in practice
  • Supervision of GP Specialty trainees (ST1, 2 and 3) in practice
  • Educational mentor of trainee Advanced Nurse Practitioners in Minor Illness module. Primary Care Emergency Service

Other expertise

Dr Santiago is a practising GP and Clinical Lead for Healthcare Improvement. My current job involves leading on healthcare transformation and innovation projects, by implementing the use of digital technologies and electronic health records to improve patient care and healthcare quality, with a focus on prevention and prediction medicine, patient experience and safety.

Clinical interests include prescribing quality and safety in general practice, women's and child health, and infectious disease diagnosis and management, Long Covid.

Dr Santiago has also been part of the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group at Healthcare Improvement Scotland for the past two years (2021-2023), main national policy group on antimicrobial stewardship and infection management in NHS Scotland.

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

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Primary care antimicrobial stewardship: impact on prescribing and resistance, University of Dundee

Award Date: 22 May 2019

Master of Science, Primary care research, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Award Date: 30 Jun 2013

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Universidad de Extremadura

Award Date: 28 Sept 2005

External positions

General Practitioner / Family physician


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