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 ( He is also Director of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex. 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.  


Department of Health Services Research and Policy
Faculty of Public Health 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 was recommissioned in 2019 for a 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. He was appointed in 2020 as policy adviser to the House fo Commons Health and Sociasl Care Select Committee Independent Expert Panel.

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

Current research includes examining primary care skill mix and local government engagement in ICS's. 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. He has co-edited speacial editions of the Journal of Health Organisation and Management (2021)and the International Journal of Public Sector Management (2023) on pay for performance schemes and a special edition of Policy and Society on applying the policy capacity framework in health policy (2022) 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. he recently led a project for Cancer Research UK on improving health professionals involvement in research. Through the Applied Research Collaboration Kent Surrey and Sussex Stephen works closely with other NIHR infrstructure organisations inteh region and supporting joint applied health and social care research with NHS and local authority organisations.

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
Capacity strengthening
Environmental Health
Evidence use
Global Health
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

Health system resilience and health workforce capacities: Comparing health system responses during the COVID-19 pandemic in six European countries.
Burau V; Falkenbach M; Neri S; Peckham S; Wallenburg I; Kuhlmann E
International journal of health planning and management
What are the impacts of setting up new medical schools? A narrative review.
Hashem F; Marchand C; Peckham S; Peckham A
BMC medical education
Priorities for family physician and general practitioner recruitment and retention in Singapore: a PRIORITIZE study.
Tudor Car L; Teng YS; How JW; Nazri NNBM; Tan ALX; Quah J; Peckham S; Smith H
BMC family practice
See more Publications