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Richard Hamblin

2006-07 Harkness Fellow Head of Analytic Support Healthcare Commission

Harkness Project Title: Informing for Improvement: The Who, How and What of Using Information to Improve the Provision of Healthcare

Mentor: Eric Larson, M.D.

Placement: Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Seattle

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Richard Hamblin, a 2006–07 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy, is head of analytic support at the Healthcare Commission, the English health services regulator where his primary responsibility was ensuring a rigorous analytic and evidential base for regulatory activities. His previous career encompasses NHS management and health services research, including as a research officer at the King's Fund, where he produced studies on London's health care system, the effect of the introduction of the internal market into the NHS in the 1990s and methods of modeling waiting list dynamics. He joined the Healthcare Commission's predecessor body, the Commission for Health Improvement, at its inception to develop its analytic methods. His particular interest is in health informatics and the use of rigorous analysis of performance data as a tool for improvements in quality and efficiency of health services. He is a 1992 graduate of University College London.


Project: Richard Hamblin explored the different ways in which patients use information on provider performance and quality, whether different types of information is used by patients in different ways, and assessed the shortfalls of the performance information currently available.  In combination with a review of existing evidence, interviews with clinical and patient experts, and a review of pre-existing performance data, his study included a survey of enrollees in Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound on their use of health information.


Career Activity Since Fellowship


  • Director of Health Quality Intelligence, Health and Quality Safety Commission, 2017
  • Director of Quality Evaluation, Health Quality and Safety Commission, 2012
  • Director of Intelligence, Care Quality Commission, 2008
  • Head of Information Policy, Healthcare Commission, 2007

Current Position: (updated 10/2017)

  • Director of Health Quality Intelligence, Health and Quality Safety Commission



E-mail: [email protected] 

Selected Publications


Merry AF, Hamblin R. More for less: best patient outcomes in a time of financial restraint. J Extra Corpor Technol. 2012 Dec;44(4):178-85.

Mears A, Vesseur J, Hamblin R, Long P, Den Ouden L. “Classifying indicators of quality: a collaboration between Dutch and English regulators.” Int J Qual Health Care. 2011 Dec;23(6):637-44.

Hamblin R, Johnstone D. “Information is opportunity.” Health Serv J. 2009 Oct 8;Suppl:3.

Sherlaw-Johnson C, Harvey D, Bishop N, Wood H, Hamblin R, Ellis N, Polato GM. “Standardised mortality ratios. Methodological bias.” BMJ. 2009 Apr 29;338:b1746.

Bevan G, Hamblin R. “Hitting and missing targets by ambulance services for emergency calls: effects of different systems of performance measurement within the UK.” J R Stat Soc Ser A Stat Soc. 2009 Jan;172(1):161-190


Hamblin R, “Regulation, measurement and incentives. The experience in the US and UK: does context matter?” Journal of the Royal Society of Health, November 2008

Hamblin R, “Publishing quality measures, how it works and when it doesn’t,” International Journal for Quality in Healthcare, June 2007

Coleman K. and Hamblin R, “Can Pay-for-Performance Improve Quality and Reduce Health Disparities?,” June 2007

Hamblin R., Ganesh J, and Lockhart G, 2007 “Measure for measure,” Policy Exchange, London