Professor Stephen Peckham BSc MA(Econ)

Professor of Health Policy


Stephen is Professor Health Policy and Director of the Department of Health funded Policy Research Unit in Commissioning and the Healthcare System ( He has a joint appointment with the University of Kent where he is Director of the Centre for Health Services Studies ( Stephen joined the School in October 2005 as Senior Lecturer in Health Services Delivery and Organisational Research at the HSRU and was academic director within the NHS Service Delivery and Organisation R&D Programme and subsequently director of the National Co-ordinating Centre for the SDO Programme until its move to Southampton in 2009.

Stephen was previously Reader in Health Policy and Head of Department of Sociology and Social Policy at Oxford Brookes University. He has been involved in health and social policy research and teaching since 1991 and previously worked in the voluntary and local government sectors. He has published widely on primary care and health policy including 'Primary Care in the UK: Policy, Organisation and Management published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2003 and an edited collection on Public Health Ethics and Practice  published by Policy Press in 2009. He has also co-authored and edited a text on the use of case studies in health policy analysis published in 2012 by Policy Press.  




His main research interests are in health policy analysis, inter-agency collaboration, primary care, public health and public involvement. 

In January 2011 Stephen became director of one the new national Policy Research Units funded by the Department of Health for five years. The Policy Research Unit in Commissioning and the Healthcare System (PRUComm) is a joint venture with the Health Policy, Politics and Organisation research group in the Department of Primary Care, University of Manchester and the Centre for Health Services Studies at the University of kent. Research in the unit includes studies on the new clinical commisisoning groups, competition and collaboration in the new health system and examining the development of the new public health system in England. 

In 2010 he led a major evaluation of changes to health services in London where new polysystems were being developed. He  also recently completed a project with CRIPACC, at the University of Hertfordshire, exploring how people with long term conditions are engaged in commissioning health services. Other research includes a project examining the public health role of general practice and, as part of PRUComm, leading a project examining the new public health system in England and reviews of evidence and policy initiatives on GP recruitment and retention. He also has a an interest in dental public health health and dental care services and QOF. With colleagues in Kent he is working on a project for Health Education England undertaking workforce horizon scanning for local CCGs and is evaluating the roll out of a new clinical pathway for emregency laparoscopy surgery.

Research areas

  • Complex interventions
  • Ethics
  • Evaluation
  • Evidence use
  • Health care financing
  • Health care policy
  • Health outcomes
  • Health policy
  • Health promotion
  • Health services
  • Health services research
  • Health systems
  • Impact evaluation
  • Implementation research
  • Inequalities
  • International comparisons
  • Mixed methods
  • Organisational research
  • Primary care
  • Private sector
  • Qualitative methods
  • Research : policy relationship
  • Social and structural determinants of health


  • Policy analysis
  • Social Policy


  • European Union
  • North America
  • OECD members


  • Canada
  • Japan
  • United Kingdom

Other interests

  • Access To Care
  • Administration
  • Advocacy
  • Citizenship
  • Community Based Health Agents
  • Community Health Volunteers
  • Community Health Workers
  • Community Mobilisation
  • Community health services
  • Governance
  • Health Care Systems Evaluation
  • Health Policy Process
  • Health Research
  • Health Sector Decentralisation
  • Health Sector Reform
  • Health Service Integration
  • Health Services Utilisation
  • Health System Performance
  • Health Tourism,
  • Health Volunteers
  • Healthcare Management
  • Medical Tourism
  • Oral Health
  • Organisational Theory
  • Participation
  • Participatory Approaches To Health
  • Participatory Research
  • Partnerships
  • Patient And Public Involvement
  • Patient Involvement
  • Population Based Interventions
  • Public health
  • Public health ethics
  • capacity building
  • commissioning
  • community participation
  • complementary therapies
  • complexity and systems thinking
  • evidence based policies
  • evidence into policy
  • governance and access to health care
  • governance and institutional strengthening
  • knowledge transfer
  • public engagement
  • stewardship
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