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Kieran Walshe

2000-01 Harkness Fellow Senior research fellow Health Services Management Centre University of Birmingham

Harkness Project Title: A Prescription for Improvement? The Impact of Regulation on the Performance of Health Care Organizations

Mentor: Stephen Shortell, Ph.D.

Placement: University of California, Berkeley

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Kieran Walshe, a 2000–01 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy, is a senior research fellow at the Health Services Management Centre at the University of Birmingham.  His research interests concern quality and performance in health care.  He chairs the Royal Society of Medicine's Forum on Quality in Health Care, is on the editorial boards of Quality in Health Care and the International Journal of Quality in Health Care, and has acted as an advisor to the National Audit Office and the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry.  Before undertaking his current career as a researcher and academic about 12 years ago, he was a health care manager.  Walshe’s Harkness Fellowship is based at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is comparing U.S. and New Zealand strategies to reduce disparities in health outcomes for minorities.


Project: Walshe conducted an exploratory study on the development and use of regulation in U.S. health care, and its impact on the performance of health care organizations.  He conducted a comprehensive review of the literature on health care regulation, and a selective review of the literature on regulation in other settings.  He then interviewed people involved in health care regulation, including from health care organizations and regulatory agencies, and analyzed documents (e.g., annual reports) from organizations included in the study.

Career Activity Since Fellowship

    • Professor of Health Policy and Management, Manchester Business School (2013-present)
    • Associate Director, National Institute for Health Research, Health Services and Delivery Research Programme (HS&DR) (2011-present)
    • Director, National Institute for Health Research Service Delivery and Organization Research and Development R&D programme, 2009
    • Director, Institute of Health Sciences, University of Manchester, 2009
    • Director, The Centre for Healthcare Management, University of Manchester, 2004
    • Chair and Professor of Health Policy and Management, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, 2003
    • Public member, Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (appointed by the NHS Appointments Commission), 2003
    • Reader in Public Management and Director of Research, Manchester Centre for Healthcare Management, University of Manchester Business School, 2002

Current Positions:  (Updated 1/2014)

  • Professor of Health Policy and Management, Manchester Business School
  • Associate Director, National Institute for Health Research, Health services and delivery and organization research and development programme

E-mail: [email protected]

Selected Publications


Walshe K, “Counting the cost of England’s NHS reorganization,” BMJ, 2015. 

Walshe K, "Lansley’s Legacy: How Not to do Health Reform," British Medical Journal, September 2012.

Walshe K, Archer J. Medical regulation: more reforms are needed. BMJ. 2014 Sep 25;349:g5744.


Walshe K. Stevens will draw the poison from NHS leadership. Health Serv J. 2014 Jun 27;124(6404):22-3.

Jacobs R, Mannion R, Davies H, Walshe K, Harrison S, Konteh F. "The relationship between organisational culture and performance in English hospital trusts." Social Science and Medicine 2013; 76(1):115-25.

Walshe K. "Lansley’s legacy: how not to do health reform." British Medical Journal 2012 Sep 12;345:e6109.

Kislov R, Walshe K, Harvey G. "Managing Boundaries in Primary Care Service Improvement: A Developmental Approach to Communities of Practice." Implementation Science 2012 Oct 15;7:97.

Walshe K, Ham C. "Can the government’s proposals for NHS reform be made to work?" BritishMedical Journal 342 2011.  

Kislov R, Harvey G, Walshe K. "Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care: lessons from the theory of communities of practice." Implementation Science 6(2011) .

Phipps DL, Noyce PR, Walshe K, Parker D, Ashcroft DM. "'Risk-based regulation of healthcare professionals: What are the implications for pharmacists?" Health, Risk & Society 13, no. 3(2011) : 277-292.

Walshe K, Davies H. "Research, influence and impact: Deconstructing the norms of health services research commissioning." Policy and Society 29, no. 2(2010) : 103-111.

Kieran Walshe. "Pseudoinnovation: the development and spread of healthcare quality improvement methodologies." International Journal for Quality in Health Care 21, no. 3(2009) : 153-159.

Groene, O, Klazinga, N, Walshe, Kieran, Cucic, C, Shaw, C D, and Suñol, R. "Learning from MARQuIS: future direction of quality and safety in hospital care in the European Union." Quality & Safety in Health Care 18, no. Suppl_1(2009) : 69–74-69–74.

Spencer, Eileen, and Walshe, Kieran. "National quality improvement policies and strategies in European healthcare systems." Quality & Safety in Health Care 18, no. 1(2009) : 22–27-22–27.

Legido-Quigley, Helena, McKee, Martin, Walshe, Kieran, Suñol, Rosa, Nolte, Ellen, and Klazinga, Niek. "How can quality of health care be safeguarded across the European Union?" BMJ 336(2008) : 920-923.

Spencer, Eileen, and Walshe, Kieran. "Quality and safety in Europe: a growing challenge for policymakers." Harvard Health Policy Review 9, no. 1(2008) : 46-54.

Marshall M, Noble J, Davies H, Waterman H, Walshe K, Sheaff R, Elwyn G. "Development of an information source for patients and the public about general practice services: an action research study." Health Expectations 9(2007) : 265-274.

Jon Glasby, Walshe, K., Harvey, G. "Making evidence fit for purpose in decision making: a case study of the hospital discharge of older people." Evidence and Policy 3(3)(2007) : 425-437.

Waterman H, Marshall M, Noble J, Davies H, Walshe K, Sheaff R, Elwyn G. "The role of action research in the investigation and diffusion of innovations in healthcare: the PRIDE project." Qualitative Health Research 17, no. 3(2007) : 373-381.

Walshe K. "Understanding what works and why in quality improvement: the need for theory-driven evaluation." International Journal of Quality in Health Care 19, no. 2(2007) : 57-59.

Jon Glasby, Walshe, K., Harvey, G. "What counts as 'evidence' in 'evidence-based practice?" Evidence and Policy 3(3)(2007) : 325-327.


Benson, L.A., Boyd, A., Walshe, K. “Learning from Regulatory Interventions in Healthcare: The Commission for Health Improvement and its Clinical Governance Review Process,” Clinical Governance: An International Journal 2006; 11(3):213-224.

 Lavis J, Gruen R, Davies H, Walshe K, Farquhar CM.  Working Within and Beyond the Cochrane Collaboration to Make Systematic Reviews More Useful to Healthcare Managers and Policymakers.  Healthcare Policy 2006; 1(2):21-33.

 Walshe K, Benson L.  “General Medical Council and the Future of Revalidation: Time for Radical Reform,”  British Medical Journal 2005; 330:1504-1506.

 Walshe K, Boaden R (eds).  Patient Safety: Research Into Practice.  Maidenhead: Open University Press/McGraw Hill, 2005.

Walshe K, Shortell SM. “When Things Go Wrong: How Health Care Organizations Deal with Major Failures,” Health Affairs 2004; 23(3):103-111.

Walshe K, Shortell SM. “Social regulation of healthcare organizations in the United States: developing a framework for evaluation.” Health Services Management Research 2004; 17(2):79-99.

Walshe K.  International Comparisons of the Quality of Healthcare: What Do They Tell Us? [commentary].  Quality and Safety in Healthcare 2003; 12(1):4-5.

Walshe K.  Regulating Healthcare: A Prescription For Improvement? Buckingham: Open University Press, 2003.

Walshe K.  Inquiries: Learning From Failure in the NHS?  London: Nuffield Trust, 2003.

Walshe K. "Understanding and Learning from Organizational Failure." Quality and Safety in Health Care 2003; 12:81-82.

Walshe K, Higgins J.  “The Use and Impact of Inquiries in the NHS.”  British Medical Journal 2002; 325:895-900.

Walshe K.  “The Rise of Regulation in the NHS” British Medical Journal 2002; 324: 967-970.

Walshe K.  “Don't Try This At Home: Health Policy Lessons For the NHS from the United States” Economic Affairs 2001; 21(4):31-35.

Walshe K.  “Regulating Nursing Homes in the United States: Are We Learning From Experience?”  Health Affairs 2001; 20(6):128-144.

Walshe K.  “Clinical Excellence: Overseas Expertise” Health Management 2001, 5(3):16-17.

Walshe K, Rundall T.  “Evidence Based Management: From Theory to Practice in Healthcare” Milbank Quarterly 2001; 79(3):429-457.

Walshe K, Wallace L, Latham L, Freeman T, Spurgeon P.  “The External Review of Quality Improvement in Healthcare Organisations: A Qualitative Study” International Journal for Quality in Health Care 2001; 13(5):367-374.

Freeman T, Latham L, Walshe K, Wallace L, Spurgeon P.  “Evaluating Mandated Quality Improvement: Results of a Survey in the NHS in England” Journal of Clinical Excellence 2001; 3:15-22.

Walshe K.  “Adverse Events in Healthcare: Issues in Measurement” Quality in Healthcare 2000; 9:47-52.