Professor Stephen Peckham

BSc MA(Econ)

of Health Policy

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

Stephen is Professor Health Policy and Director of the Department of Health funded Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Systems and Commissioning  ( 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.  


Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Department of Health Services Research and Policy


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

In January 2011 Stephen became director of one of the national Policy Research Units funded by the Department of Health for five years - the Policy Research Unit in Commissioning and the Healthcare System (PRUComm). This was 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. The unit has just been recommissioned for five years as the PRU in Health and Social Care Systems and Commissioning with the inclusion of the Health Economics group at the University of Manchester and the Personal Social Services Research Unit at the University of Kent.

Research in the unit includes studies on the new integrated systems, clinical commisisoning groups, competition and collaboration in the new health system,  and the organisation of primary and community health services. 

Current research includes local and national evaluation of the New Models of Care in England and examining the implementation of the Care Act 2014. Other research includes a recent 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 related to GP recruitment and retention, the relationship between scale and quality in primary care, and a policy review of QOF.  Over the next 2-3 years research will focus on incentives in primary care, integrated systems and commissioning and assessing the impact of developments in Community Health Services. At Kent he is also leading a project for Cancer Research UK on improving health professionals involvement in research and a HS&DR funded projected on skill-mix in general practice.

See CHSS, University of Kent: 

See research profile on Researchgate:

Research Area
Complex interventions
Health care financing
Health care policy
Health outcomes
Health policy
Health promotion
Health sector development
Health services research
Health systems
Organisational research
Primary care
Research : policy relationship
Social and structural determinants of health
Health workers
Evidence use
Health services
Impact evaluation
International comparisons
Mixed methods
Implementation research
Private sector
Qualitative methods
Policy analysis
Political science
Social Sciences
Social Policy
United Kingdom
Europe & Central Asia (developing only)
Europe & Central Asia (all income levels)
European Union
North America
OECD members

Selected Publications

How widespread is working at scale in English general practice?
Peckham S; Forbes L; Forbes H; Chjeckland K; Sutton M
British Journal of General Practice
Policy failure and the policy-implementation gap: can policy support programs help?
Hudson B; Hunter D; Peckham S
Policy Design and Practice
Planning and managing primary care services: lessons from the NHS in England
Checkland K; McDermott I; Coleman A; Warwick-Giles L; Bramwell D; Allen P; Peckham S
Bridging the discursive gap between lay and medical discourse in care coordination.
Sheaff R; Halliday J; Byng R; Øvretveit J; Exworthy M; Peckham S; Asthana S
Sociology of health & illness
The role of the Quality and Outcomes Framework in the care of long-term conditions: a systematic review.
Forbes LJ; Marchand C; Doran T; Peckham S
The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners
See more Publications