Judith Smith

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests


I am a health services researcher and policy analyst, with an overall focus on health care organisation and management.  My 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 my own research is largely qualitative, I have a strong commitment to mixed methods studies with a significant quantitative and economic element, and have extensive experience of leading and taking part in research and evaluation studies that are defined by this collaborative and mixed method approach.

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



I am a highly experienced and widely published health services researcher and policy analyst, specialising in health care organisation and management.  In 2015 I was appointed to lead the Health Services Management Centre at the University of Birmingham and in this role I am 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 my role at HSMC I spent six years as Director of Policy at the Nuffield Trust - an independent charitable research foundation based in London – where I 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. 

I maintain 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 Department of Health and Social Care Policy Research Programme, and led by LSHTM); a study of Hospital Board Leadership following the Francis Inquiry Report (funded by the Department of Health and Social Care Policy Research Programme and led by the University of Manchester), and a review of the evidence underpinning the strategy of the Birmingham and Solihull Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (with the University of Birmingham Medical School). 

I am 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: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/brace/index.aspx 

In addition to my academic role, I am a Non-Executive Director of the Birmingham Women and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, where I am Chair of the trust's Research and Service Innovation Committee, and a member of the Quality Committee, Audit & Value Committee, and Ethics Advisory Group.

I am a trustee and Deputy Chair of Health Services Research UK, and from 2015-2019 was Vice-Chair of the National Institute of Health Research Commissioning Panel for its Health Services and Delivery Research funding programme.  

I have previously served as a Non-Executive Director of South Birmingham Primary Care Trust, on the board of the European Health Management Association, and as the academic member of the British Medical Association’s central Primary Care Development Sub-Committee.  In 2013, I was the Chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Commission on Future Models of Care.



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