Strategic planning and decision making

Our work in this area focuses on the ways in which decisions are made and services are strategically planned in a context of financial pressures and multiple goals.


It covers topics such as:

  • The challenge of achieving equitable health care access and outcomes and the role of evidence in this.
  • The commissioning and/or strategic planning function as a means of securing desired health care outcomes for populations.
  • The role of public and other engagement activities in priority setting in health and care.
  • The challenges of decommissioning medicines, services and health care organisations.

To this end, HSMC works to develop theory, empirical understanding and practical wisdom on the theme of decision making and strategic planning. This means collaborating nationally and internationally with academic, policy and practitioner partners.

Contact: Iestyn Williams

Our Research

Current and recent research projects from this work area include:

Dissemination and Impact

In September 2016, HSMC hosted the 11th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Priorities in Health. The Department also regularly organises or contributes to knowledge sharing events and programmes nationally and internationally. These include:

Members of the strategic planning and decision making theme

Hilary Brown

Hilary Brown

Senior Fellow

Hilary is a Senior Fellow at the Health Services Management Centre, having joined the Department in 2008. Her professional background spans senior management positions within the NHS and journalism within the private sector. 

An experienced qualitative researcher, her relevant areas of interest and expertise include: Cancer policy and services; the introduction of Genomic Medicine into ...

Professor Russell Mannion

Professor Russell Mannion

Professor of Health Systems

Russell has held the Chair in Health Systems at the University of Birmingham since 2010.  He is an Honorary Professor at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University, Sydney and a Fellow of Bocconi University, Milan. He was previously Director of the Centre for Health Services Management at the University of York (2005-2009) and served as a Board Director of the York ...

Professor Robin Miller

Professor Robin Miller

Head of Department, Social Work & Social Care
Co-Director, Centre for Health & Social Care Leadership

Robin is Head of Department of Social Work & Social Care and Co-Director of the Centre for Health & Social Care Leadership. He leads on a variety of applied research projects within health and care, with a particular focus on evaluating and learning from change initiatives. Current research projects include the national longer-term evaluation of the Integrated Care ...

Professor Judith Smith

Professor Judith Smith

Professor of Health Policy and Management
Director of the Health Services Management Centre

Judith Smith is Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Director of the Health Services Management Centre, having taken up this role in 2015. She is also Director of the BRACE Rapid Evaluation Centre funded by the National Institute of Health Research for five years (2018-2023) and involving the University of Birmingham, University of Cambridge, RAND Europe, and National Voices. 


Dr Iestyn Williams

Dr Iestyn Williams

Reader in Health Policy and Management
Director of Research

Iestyn is a Reader in Health Policy and Management and HSMC Director of Research. He is involved in a range of research, teaching and knowledge transfer work and has a broad methodological experience and expertise. He specialises in social science approaches to Health Services Research, employing mixed methods study designs. He has specific expertise in: priority setting, decision making and ...


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