Dr Hugh McLeod BSc (Econ), MSc, PhD

Dr Hugh McLeod

Institute of Applied Health Research
Research Fellow in Health Economics

Contact details

Health Economics Unit
Institute of Applied Health Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
IOEM Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Hugh has published research across a range of fields, including health system reform, commissioning, payment incentives, service redesign, and quality improvement programmes and methods. He has received major grants from funding bodies including the NIHR.

Hugh undertakes a wide range of teaching He leads the ‘Policy and Economics of Healthcare Delivery’ module of the MSc in Health Economics and Health Policy, and the ‘Health Economics’ module for third-year economics undergraduates.  Hugh is the HEU’s lead for postgraduate research.


  • PhD in Health Services Management, University of Birmingham, 2004
  • MSc in Health Economics and Health Policy, University of Birmingham, 2000
  • BSc(Econ) in Economics, University College London, 1989


After graduating from UCL, Hugh worked in three different industries, including the private healthcare sector.  As Administrator and Company Secretary, he led the development of Droitwich Knee Clinic during a period of unprecedented growth between 1991 and 1995.

Since joining the then Health Economics Facility at the University of Birmingham in 1997, Hugh’s interest in applied evaluative research has spanned a wide range of topics and clinical areas.  Hugh’s interests include health system reform and the impact of national policy initiatives on clinician-level and organisation-level behaviour, and the application of health economics to commissioner-led decision-making. 

Hugh completed a six-month secondment to Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group in 2015.  This work entailed, in part, exploring the potential to use capability ICECAP measures to inform outcome-based commissioning.


  • Lead coordinator of the ‘Policy and Economics of Healthcare Delivery’ module of the MSc in Health Economics and Health Policy.
  • Lead coordinator of the popular ‘Health Economics’ module for third-year economics undergraduates
  • Hugh also lectures on a range of MSc modules run by the HEU and the Health Services Management Centre.  He also lectures on the MPH programme and courses for medical and economics undergraduates.

Postgraduate supervision

Hugh is the HEU lead for postgraduate research.


Hugh’s work relating to commissioning has spanned the evolution of primary care organisations.  He worked on a national evaluation of the impact of the health system reforms on six case-study Primary Care Trusts, commissioned by the DH’s Policy Research Programme.   In 2004, he was a member of the leading group of researchers which reviewed the evidence on the impact of commissioning for The Health Foundation.   Hugh’s first research evaluated the impact of the total purchasing pilots (TPPs) on hospital services.  This work with James Raftery informed the Labour Government’s decision in 1997 to endorse primary care budget-holding.

Another key interest has been the development of service redesign methods.   Recent work included major studies of hospital redesign undertaken under the auspices of the Birmingham Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) programme commissioned by the NIHR.  

Hugh’s early work on evaluating a number of high profile service redesign programmes provided the only independent assessment of the outcomes experienced in the type of quality improvement programme subsequently advocated by the 2000 White Paper ‘The NHS Plan’, and widely implemented under the auspices of the NHS Modernisation Agency and successor organisations.    This evaluative research formed the basis of Hugh’s PhD which has Official Degree status: ‘Assessing outcomes: the role of quantitative analysis in the conduct and evaluation of NHS redesign programmes’.

Other activities

Hugh has undertaken consultancy work for the Department of Health and NHS organisations


McLeod H, Blissett D, Wyatt S, Mohammed M. (2015) Effect of Pay-For-Outcomes and Encouraging New Providers on National Health Service Smoking Cessation Services in England: A Cluster Controlled Study. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0123349. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123349 

McLeod H, Heath G, Cameron E, Debelle G, Cummins C. (2015) Introducing consultant outpatient clinics to community settings to improve access to paediatrics: an observational impact study BMJ Qual Saf 24:6 377-384 

McLeod H, Millar R, Goodwin N, Powell M. (2014) Perspectives on the policy ‘black box’: a comparative case study of orthopaedics services in England Health Economics, Policy and Law 9;4:383-405 http://journals.cambridge.org/repo_A91FJHBL 

Sibbald B, Pickard S, McLeod H, Reeves D, Mead N, Gemmell I, Coast J, Roland M, Leese B. (2008) Moving specialist care into the community: an initial evaluation Journal of Health Services Research and Policy 13;4: 233-239 

Smith J, Dixon J, Mays N, McLeod H, Goodwin N, McClelland S, Lewis R, Wyke S. (2005) ‘Practice-based commissioning: applying the evidence British Medical Journal 331:1397-9 

McLeod H, Ham C, Kipping R. (2003) Booking patients for hospital admissions: evaluation of a pilot programme for day cases British Medical Journal 327:1147-1150 

Ham C, Kipping R, McLeod H. (2003) Redesigning Work Processes in Health Care: Lessons from the National Health Service The Milbank Quarterly 81:3;415-439 

Wyke S, Mays N, Street A, Bevan G, McLeod H, Goodwin N. (2003) Should general practitioners purchase health care for their patients?  The total purchasing experiment in Britain Health Policy 65:3;243-259