Mrs April Coombe BSc.Econ, MSc

Mrs April Coombe

Institute of Applied Health Research
Information Specialist

Contact details

Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Institute of Applied Health Research
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

April Coombe is an information specialist who works within the information support team in the Biostatistics, evidence synthesis and test evaluation research group at the Institute of Applied Health Research at the University of Birmingham, developing search strategies to identify appropriate research literature for systematic reviews (since April 2017).

April previously worked as an analyst for the NIHR Horizon Scanning Research and Intelligence Centre reviewing new and emerging health care technologies likely to be of importance to the National Health Service in the near future. She is an experienced project manager in health information innovation  within the NHS and academic sectors.


  • Prince 2 Project Management, Sept 2005
  • MSc in Information Studies, University of Central England, 1998
  • BSc (Hons) Philosophy, University of Wales
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals


Following a Philosophy degree at the University of Wales, April undertook an MSc in Librarianship at Birmingham City University (formally University of Central England) after which followed a post as a Research Associate at the Centre for Information Research based at the University.

A move to the West Midlands Library Service Development Unit, West Midlands Deanery / West Midlands Strategic Health Authority (2001) saw involvement in a wide range of health information management projects and a secondment to the West Midlands Public Health Observatory (2003) managing an information sharing project for public health professionals. Other work included an NHS funded pilot project to explore how the current evidence base can better utilised by frontline NHS staff (2005).
In 2009 the opportunity arose to continue working as a Project Manager, building a team for one of these projects (now “NHS Evidence Search”) at the University of Surrey.   

After a period of freelancing information specialist work for James Lind Alliance projects (2012-2013) April has worked for Birmingham University as a Research Associate at the Horizon Scanning Research and Intelligence Centre. (Jan 2014 – present date) combining academic interest with family life. 


Research into new and emerging health technologies that offer potential for impact on the NHS, patients and their carers.

Health information quality.


Sharp S, Quinn T and Coombe A. (2005) Currency versus quality in collection development., Health Information on the Internet.