Honorary staff

HSMC values the contribution of a number of Honorary Fellows. Honorary Fellows are awarded to individuals outside the centre, with relevant areas of expertise. They come from a variety of backgrounds for mutual collaboration and benefit with HSMC's academics and staff. 

Anita Charlesworth, Honorary Professor

Anita Charlesworth




Anita Charlesworth CBE joined the Health Foundation in 2014, where she is currently Director of Research and Economics. She was formerly Chief Economist at the Nuffield Trust for four years where she led the Trust’s work on health care financing and market mechanisms.

Anita was Chief Analyst and Chief Scientific Advisor at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport from 2007 to 2010. Prior to this, she was Director of Public Spending at the Treasury from 1998-2007, where she led the team working with Sir Derek Wanless on his reform of NHS funding in 2002. Anita has a Masters in Health Economics from York University and has worked as an Economic Advisor in the Department of Health and for SmithKline Beecham pharmaceuticals in the UK and USA. She has been an non-executive director in the NHS at Islington PCT and the Whittingdon Health NHS Trust.

In 2016, Anita was the Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords’ Select Committee on the Long-term sustainability of the NHS, chaired by the Lord Patel KT.  Anita is a Trustee of Tommy’s, the baby charity.

Anita’s contribution to economics and health policy was recognised in 2017 by the award of a CBE. Professor Charlesworth took up the title of Honorary Professor at the University in 2017 to provide her specialist expertise to the Health Services management Centre (HSMC) and the University of Birmingham in areas such as health and social care financing and funding, the economics of health reform, and future scenarios for public services in times of financial austerity. 

Contact via Judith Smith

Jeffrey Braithwaite, Honorary Professor

Jeffrey Braithwaite, HSMC Honorary Professor




Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite is Founding Director of the Australian Institute for Health Innovation and Director of the Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Jeffrey works with HSMC on a joint portfolio of research centred on health care culture and systems improvement, patient safety and health system reform. Further details about his work can be found at www.aihi.mq.edu.au.

Contact via Russell Mannion

Sandra Buttigieg, Honorary Senior Lecturer

Sandra Buttigieg, Honorary staff, HSMC




Sandra C. Buttigieg MD PhD (Aston) FFPH (UK) MSc MBA is an Associate Professor and Head of Department of Health Services Management, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Malta. She lectures on the Master Degree Programs in Health Services Management, Public Health, and Family Medicine. She is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the School of Social Policy, College of Social Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK, and an Honorary Research Fellow at Aston University, Birmingham, UK. Dr Buttigieg has a growing number of international publications and her research interests in health care performance and organisational behaviour complement those of staff in HSMC. Her appointment as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow will help cement research and teaching relationships between HSMC and the University of Malta.

Contact via Russell Mannion

Deborah Davidson, Honorary Associate Professor

Deborah joined HSMC as a Senior Fellow in Organisational Development & Leadership in July 2003. Deborah Davidson worked as a director in voluntary sector mental health, social care and housing services from 1984 – 1998. From 1998 she moved to work in higher education, first at King’s College, London as Director of Leadership & Organisational Development Programmes and Director of Educational Programmes for the Institute for Applied Health and Social Policy and then to the Health Services Management Centre, at the University of Birmingham.  As a social researcher, interested in public organisations, ways of organising and change, Deborah’s research, evaluation and development activities have been focussed on improvements in the quality and capability of public services that makes a difference to end users and diverse communities.

Contact: d.c.davidson@bham.ac.uk

Chris Ham, Honorary Professor

Chris Ham, Honorary staff, HSMC




Chris Ham was appointed as Professor of Health Policy and Management at the University of Birmingham in 1992. From 2000 to 2004 he was seconded to the Department of Health, where he was Director of the Strategy Unit, working with ministers on NHS reform. Chris is the author of 20 books and numerous articles about health policy and management. He was awarded a CBE in 2004 and an honorary doctorate by the University of Kent in 2012. He took up his current post as Chief Executive of The King’s Fund in April 2010. Chris was appointed emeritus professor at the University in 2014.

Contact via Judith Smith

John McDonough, Honorary Professor

John McDonough, Honorary staff, HSMC




John E. McDonough, DPH, MPA is a Professor of Public Health Practice at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Director of the Center for Executive and Continuing Professional Education. Between 2008 and 2010, he served as a Senior Advisor on National Health Reform to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions where he worked on writing and passage of the Affordable Care Act. His specialty is U.S. health policy and politics, federal and state and he teaches political strategy for public health professionals.

Contact via Judith Smith

Dr Karen Newbigging, Honorary Reader (Associate Professor)

Dr Karen Newbigging







Karen joined HSMC as a Senior Lecturer in Healthcare Policy and Management in November 2013. Originally qualifying as a clinical psychologist, Karen has over thirty years’ experience in the health and social care sector, including direct service provision and commissioning. For the past fifteen years Karen has been involved in research, consultancy and system development for a broad range health and social care organisations including government. Her recent work has focused on the implementation of health and social care policy, patient and public involvement, advocacy and action to tackle health inequalities and discrimination. Karen has a particular interest in mental health, and is a core member of the Institute for Mental Health at the University. She is a Chartered Psychologist, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and a Senior Fellow of the School for Social Care.

Contact: k.v.newbigging@bham.ac.uk


Dr. Andy Poh, Honorary Professor








Dr. Andy Poh is Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Originally from Singapore, he has had an international career spanning the government and private sectors. At the federal level, his roles in the Prime Minister’s Office include the scope of policies, strategies, initiatives of national development and global partnerships. Earlier, he worked in the Government of Dubai at the Dubai Health Authority with roles of strategic transformation and business innovation. Prior to the UAE, he worked in China and Singapore as General Manager and Vice President of a listed health care organisation, with experience in overseas market expansion via greenfield and brownfield strategies. He first started his career as a doctor practising medicine in Australia and Singapore. He was appointed Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow in 2019 and subsequently Honorary Professor by the University of Birmingham in 2022. Having pursued an executive career path across the government and private sectors, Dr. Andy brings valuable perspectives in health care management including those of public-private partnerships and integrated strategies of population health care delivery at a system-level. He has special interests in the future of health care, innovation and digitisation.

Dr. Andy has attained qualifications in Medicine, Law, Public Administration, Business Administration and Education, namely LLM (Distinction), MSc in Public Administration and Development (Distinction), MBA (Distinction), MBBS and Graduate Diplomas in Occupational Medicine, Family Medicine, Family Practice Dermatology and Higher Education. Dr. Andy is registered with the Singapore Medical Council and Medical Board of Australia. In addition, he is also a Designated Workplace Doctor registered with the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore.  

Contact via Ross Millar