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Alexandra Norrish

(United Kingdom) Deputy Director of Financial Policy and Strategy U.K. Department of Health

Harkness Project: The Impact of Balancing the Priorities of Different Stakeholders in a Value-based Health Care System

Placement: Harvard School of Public Health

Mentors: Thomas H. Lee, M.D., professor and network president, Partners Health Care System; and Dana G. Safran, vice president for performance measurement and improvement, Massachusetts Blue Cross Blue Shield

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Alexandra Norrish, M.St., a 2012-13 U.K. Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice, is the deputy director of financial policy and strategy for the U.K. Department of Health, where she is currently developing strategies to enable the NHS to live within its tightest ever budgetary position, and assessing the cost implications of secretary of health Andrew Lansley’s policy reforms. Prior to her current appointment, Norrish was head of social care reform for the U.K. Department of Health. Norrish has also worked as deputy director for health and social care in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, as well as policy advisor on health to the Prime Minister (Tony Blair). From 2002-2004, she was the senior cabinet committee secretary for education, health, and local government. Norrish received a B.A. in English literature and a master’s degree in research methods from Oxford University.

Current Project Abstract: Massachusetts has already in many ways implemented reforms which other states are likely to emulate as the Affordable Care Act takes full effect.  Norrish will explore the introduction of different approaches to improving the ‘value’ of health care in Massachusetts. She will identify the barriers and enablers that have contributed to or undermined attempts to improve the value of health care, particularly the role played by competition and cooperation.  She will conduct ~30 semi-structured interviews with federal- and state-level policy officials, Massachusetts legislators, insurers, providers (managers and clinicians) and patients, to map the complex interactions of relationships informing competition and cooperation within the whole health system. 


Career Activities since Fellowship:

  • Programme Director, South West London Acute Provider Collaborative, 2015
  • Deputy Director of NHS Strategy and Delivery / Provider Policy, UK Department of Health, 2013

Current Positions: (updated 7/2017)



    Programme Director, Hospital Services Review, South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, 2017


Email: [email protected]


Harkness-Related Publications: