Dr Iestyn Williams

Iestyn Williams

Health Services Management Centre
Reader in Health Policy and Management
Director of Research

Contact details

School of Social Policy, HSMC
Park House
University of Birmingham
B15 2RT

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 decommissioning in health care; strategic planning and decision making; implementation studies, and; qualitative evidence synthesis and reporting.


His main qualifications are:

  • PhD Health Care Policy and Management, University of Birmingham (2009)
  • MPhil Cultural Studies and Sociology, University of Birmingham (2002)
  • BSocSc (1st) Media, Culture and Society, University of Birmingham (1995)


Iestyn's academic background is in Sociology which he studied at undergraduate and postgraduate level at the University of Birmingham. Before joining HSMC, Iestyn worked in NHS management and prior to this spent five years in research and service development in the third sector. 

Current and recent projects 

  • A national study into decommissioning in health care (funded by the National Institute for Health Research)
  • A national study into publication bias in health services delivery research (funded by the National Institute for Health Research and led by Warwick University)
  • An investigation of capital spending in NHS organisations (funded by the Health Foundation)

Postgraduate supervision

Iestyn welcomes PhD proposals on the following themes:

  • Priority setting, decision making and decommissioning

  • Health care change and improvement

  • Social science methods in health services research


Research Projects

  • A Multicentre Study to Investigate Feasibility of a Protocol-Driven Multidisciplinary Service Model to Tackle ‘Spurious Penicillin Allergy’ in Secondary Care (National Institute for Health Research HS&DR), CI, £800k (2020-2023)
  • Inter-CEPt: Intervening to eliminate the centre effect variation in home dialysis use. (National Institute for Health Research HS&DR), CI, £1,110k (2020-2023)
  • NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC). West Midlands, Theme 1: long term conditions. CI, £9m (2019-2026)
  • Health policy and civil unrest – an analysis of the global archive of news reports (Universities of Illinois and Birmingham BRIDGE Seed Fund) PI, £10k (2019)

Other activities

  • Member of the Council of Governors, University Hospitals Birmingham
  • Secretary, International Society for Priorities in Health
  • Associate Editor Journal of Health Organisation and Managemet
  • External Examiner City University London
  • External examiner Alliance Manchester Business School


Recent publications


Ayorinde, AA, Williams, I, Mannion, R, Song, F, Skrybant, M, Lilford, R & Chen, Y 2020, 'Publication and related biases in health services research: a systematic review of empirical evidence', BMC Medical Research Methodology, vol. 20, 137. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12874-020-01010-1

Williams, I, Ayorinde, AA, Mannion, R, Skrybant, M, Song, F, Lilford, RJ & Chen, Y-F 2020, 'Stakeholder views on publication bias in health services research', Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 162-171. https://doi.org/10.1177/1355819620902185

Linton, M-J, Coast, J, Williams, I, Copping, J & Owen-Smith, A 2019, 'Developing a framework of quality indicators for healthcare business cases: a qualitative document analysis consolidating insight from expert guidance and current practice', BMC Health Services Research, vol. 19, 433. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-4269-9

Williams, I, Allen, K & Plahe, G 2019, 'Reports of rationing from the neglected realm of capital investment: responses to resource constraint in the English National Health Service', Social Science and Medicine, vol. 225, pp. 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.02.015

Hall, W, Williams, I, Smith, N, Gold, M, Coast, J, Kapiriri, L, Danis, M & Mitton, C 2018, 'Past, present and future challenges in health care priority setting: Findings from an international expert survey', Journal of Health, Organization and Management, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 444-462. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHOM-01-2018-0005

Williams, I, Mannion, R & Hall, K 2017, 'Doing more with less in health care: findings from a multi-method study of decommissioning in the English National Health Service', Journal of Social Policy. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047279417000721

Daniels, T, Williams, I, Bryan, S, Mitton, C & Robinson, S 2017, 'Involving citizens in disinvestment decisions: what do health professionals think? Findings from a multi-method study in the English NHS', Health economics, policy, and law. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1744133117000330

Williams, I & Dickinson, H 2016, 'Going it alone or playing to the crowd? A critique of individual budgets and the personalisation of Health Care in the English National Health Service', Australian Journal Of Public Administration, vol. 75, no. 2, pp. 149-158. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8500.12155

Williams, I, Hunter, D, Katharina, K, Littlejohns, P, Staniszewska, S, Tumilty, E & Weale, A 2016, 'Public Involvement in Health Priority Setting: Future Challenges for Policy, Research and Society', Journal of Health Organisation and Management, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 796-808. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHOM-04-2016-0057


Williams, I 2016, The governance of coverage in health systems: England’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. in S Greer, M Wismar & J Figueras (eds), Strengthening governance for health systems in Europe . Open University Press, Berkshire, UK, pp. 159-172.

Commissioned report

Chen, Y, Williams, I & Mannion, R 2020, Publication and related bias in quantitative health services & delivery research: systematic reviews, case studies, inception cohorts and informant interviews. National Institute for Health Research.

Williams, I, Harlock, J, Robert, G, Mannion, R & Brearley, S 2017, Decommissioning health care: identifying best practice through primary and secondary research a prospective mixed-methods study. Health Services and Delivery Research, no. 22, vol. 5, National Institute for Health Research. https://doi.org/10.3310/hsdr05220


Rob, B, Craig, M, Marion, D, Williams, I & Marthe, G 2017, 'Global developments in priority setting in health', International Journal of Health Policy and Management, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 127–128. https://doi.org/10.15171/ijhpm.2017.10

Review article

Jani, Y, Williams, I & Krishna, M 2019, 'Sustaining and spreading penicillin allergy de-labelling: a narrative review of the challenges for service delivery and patient safety', British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1111/bcp.14190

Williams, I, Brown, H & Healy, P 2018, 'Contextual factors influencing cost and quality decisions in health and care: a structured evidence review and narrative synthesis', International Journal of Health Policy and Management, vol. 7, no. 8. https://doi.org/10.15171/ijhpm.2018.09

View all publications in research portal


  • Setting priorities in health care
  • involving citizens and the public in health and social care decisions
  • the challenges of removing or replacing health care services and organisations
  • the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)
  • Health Care Commissioning