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1996 …2023

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Research interests


Professor Judith Smith is a health services researcher and policy analyst, with a focus  on health care organisation and management.  Her particular research interests are:

 - long-term conditions and integrated care

 - the organisation and management of primary care, including in the international context

 - health commissioning and purchasing

 - the evaluation of health care organisation and service delivery

 - health care management, governance and culture.

Although her own research is largely qualitative, she has a strong commitment to mixed methods studies with a significant quantitative and economic element, and has extensive experience of leading and taking part in research and evaluation studies that are defined by this collaborative and mixed method approach.

Judith has a strong interest in research impact and in particular in the relationship between health services research and the health management community and this is increasingly a core part of her academic endeavour and one for which she is often sought out at a national level. This commitment is rooted in her career experience that has spanned health management, research and policy analysis, working in NHS hospitals, universities in the UK and overseas, as a government advisor, and in a health research foundation.



Judith Smith is Professor of Health Policy and Management in the Health Services Management Centre at the University of Birmingham.  She is a highly experienced and widely published health services researcher and policy analyst, specialising in health care organisation and management. 

In 2015 Judith was appointed as Director of the Health Services Management Centre and in this role she was responsible for a team of 60 academic and professional services staff whose core purpose is to undertake high quality health services management and organisational research and development, ensuring that findings are rigorous, relevant and applicable to both policy and practice.

Prior to her role at HSMC Judith spent six years as Director of Policy at the Nuffield Trust - an independent charitable research foundation based in London – where she led a team of researchers and analysts whose work focused on primary and community health care, long-term conditions, health commissioning, the monitoring and assurance of health and social care quality, and the quest for integrated care. 

From 2007-2009 Judith was based in New Zealand working as Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Health Services Research Centre in the Victoria University of Wellington and (from 2008-2009) as Senior Policy Fellow in the New Zealand Ministry of Health.

Judith maintains an active portfolio of research projects, funded by a range of national and local bodies, and all focused on study of the ways in which the organisation and delivery of health services might be further improved.  Current and recent projects include:

 - the National Evaluation of Integrated Care and Support Pioneers (funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Policy Research Programme, and led by LSHTM)

 - a study of Hospital Board Leadership following the Francis Inquiry Report (funded by the NIHR Policy Research Programme and led by the University of Manchester)

 - a rapid evaluation of the implementation of Primary Care Networks in the NHS in England (for NIHR)

 - a study of the use of remote outpatient consultations in NHS trusts during the COVID-19 pandemic (for Birmingham Health Partners).  

Judith is Director of the BRACE Rapid Service Evaluation Centre that has been funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) for five years (2018-2023) and this is a partnership between the University of Birmingham, RAND Europe, the University of Cambridge, and National Voices.  More information about the BRACE Centre is available here: 

Judith is Deputy Director of the National Institute for Health Research's Health and Social Care Delivery Research Programme. More information about the HSDR funding programme is available here:

Judith is a member of the core team of Birmingham Health Partners where she is Director of Health Services Research

She is a trustee and Deputy Chair of Health Services Research UK, the national membership body for health services researchers

She has previously served as a Non-Executive Director of the Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust (2014-2022) and South Birmingham Primary Care Trust (2002-2004), and was a board member of the European Health Management Association (2004-2006). 

In 2013, Judith was appointed Chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Commission on Future Models of Care.  From 2010-2013 she served as Expert Adviser to the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry and then as an Assessor of the Inquiry's recommendations.



BA (Hons) first class in French Language and Literature, University of Birmingham, 1987

Diploma in Health Services Management of the Institute of Healthcare Management, 1990

MBA Open University Business School, 1999

PhD in Health Policy and Management, University of Birmingham, 2009

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
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality


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