Professor Kieran Walshe

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Profile photo of: Professor Kieran Walshe Email: Show Email Address
Position: Professor of Health Policy and Management
Academic unit: Innovation, Management and Policy


Kieran Walshe is Professor of Health Policy and Management at Manchester Business School, and head of the health management group at MBS. He is also a non-executive director of the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, a board member of the UK Health Services Research Network and a member of the US AcademyHealth International Advisory Board. He was a member of the REF2014 panel for public health,health services research and primary care. He was associate director of the National Institute of Health Research health services and delivery research programme from 2012 to 2015, and directed the NIHR service delivery and organisation research programme from 2008 to 2011. He edited the journal Health Services Management Research from 2011 to 2015 and was a board member and scientific committee chair of the European Health Management Association from 2008 to 2015. From 2003 to 2006 he directed the Centre for Public Policy and Management in Manchester Business School, and from 2009 to 2011 he directed the university's Institute of Health Sciences.

He has twenty-five years experience in health policy, health management and health services research. He has previously worked at the University of Birmingham, at the University of California at Berkeley as a Harkness Fellow, and at the King's Fund in London, and has a professional background in healthcare management. He often works at the interface between research, policy and practice and values the opportunities it offers to engage with the policy and practitioner communities and to put ideas into action. He has particular interests and expertise in quality and performance in healthcare organisations; the governance, accountability and performance of public services; and the use of evidence in policy evaluation and learning. He has led a wide range of research projects funded by the ESRC, Department of Health, NIHR, and EU FP7 programmes, and other government departments and NHS organisations. He has advised many government agencies and organisations, in the UK and internationally, including acting as an advisor on health reforms to the House of Commons health select committee. His current research is mainly focused on reforms to health professions regulation, on the use of inspection and rating in the regulation of healthcare organisations and services; and on organisational capabilities and processes for improvement.

He tweets as @kieran_walshe

Research Interests

Kieran Walshe's research is mainly concerned with quality and performance in healthcare organisations; the governance, accountability and performance of public services; and the use of evidence in policy evaluation and learning. Recent research has explored quality and performance assessment and improvement, the governance and accountability of public services, and systems of regulation, scrutiny and oversight. He has a long standing interest in quality and safety in healthcare including clinical governance, quality measurement, accreditation, adverse events and patient safety. he has also researched organisational failure and turnaround, major service failures and their consequences, and the use of public inquiries and investigations.

He has been the lead investigator/co-investigator of over 40 research grants from a range of funders including the Economic and Social Research Council, Department of Health, National Institute of Health Research, Department for Communities and Local Government, European Commission, Healthcare Commission, National Audit Office, BUPA Foundation, Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, Commonwealth Fund, and others. In his time at the University of Manchester has been principal or co-investigator in research grants totalling about £6.3 million, ahd he is currently the principal investigator on four ongoing grants totalling £1.65 million.

He has written six authored or edited books, and over 90 papers in academic peer reviewed journals, plus many more in practitioner journals and other forums. He has written for a wide range of academic and professional journals, including the British Medical Journal, Health Service Journal, Implementation Science, Health Affairs, Milbank Quarterly, Public Money and Management, and Quality and Safety in Healthcare. His books include Regulating Healthcare: A Prescription for Improvement (2003); Patient Safety: Research into Practice (2005); Healthcare Management (2006, 2011, 2016 forthcoming); Health Policy and Management: A Reader (2009); and From Knowing to Doing: Connecting Knowledge and Performance in Public Services (2010).

Programme involvement

Specialist fields




Publication summary




Working papers

LCMNTitleYear published
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Showing 79 publication(s)

Authored book

  • Mahon, A, K Walshe, and N Chambers. A Reader in Health Policy and Management. McGraw Hill, 2009. eScholarID:4g16
  • Walshe, Kieran, and Julie Smith. Healthcare Management. Oxford University Press, 2006. eScholarID:4g10
  • Walshe, K. Regulating healthcare: a prescription for improvement?. Open University Press, 2003. eScholarID:4b2204

Edited book

  • Walshe K, Harvey G, Jas P. From knowing to doing: connecting knowledge and performance in public services. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. eScholarID:81955
  • Mahon, A., Chambers, N., Walshe, K. A Reader in Health Policy and Management. Berkshire: McGraw Hill, 2009. eScholarID:4b1391

Book contribution

  • Walshe, K., Vincent C A, Davy C, Esmail A, Neale G, Elstein M, Firth Cozens J. "Learning From Litigation: the role of claims analysis in patient safety." 2005. eScholarID:3b5148
  • Walshe, K. "Returning to Local Governance in Healthcare ?." London: Palgrave, 2004. eScholarID:3b5175
  • Walshe, K., Vincent C A. "Clinical Risk Management and the Analysis of Clinical Incidents." London: Royal Society of Medicine Press, 2001. eScholarID:3b5176

Journal article

  • Harvey G, Jas P, Walshe K. "Analysing organisational context: case studies on the contribution of absorptive capacity theory to understanding inter-organisational variation in performance improvemen."(2014) . eScholarID:290817 | DOI:10.1136/bmjqs-2014-002928
  • Walshe K, Davies HTO. "Health research, development and innovation in England from 1988 to 2013: from research production to knowledge mobilization." Journal of Health Services Research & Policy(2013) . eScholarID:290828 | DOI:10.1177/1355819613502011
  • Walshe K, McKee M, Groenwegen P, Hansen J, Figueras J, Boccia S, Ricciardi W. "Reshaping the agenda of the European Commission for the health systems and policy research in Europe within Horizon 2020." Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Public Health(2013) . eScholarID:291147 | DOI:10.2427/8951
  • Jacobs R, Mannion R, Davies HT, Walshe K, Harrison S, Konteh F. "The relationship between organizational culture and performance in acute hospitals." Social Science & Medicine 76, no. 1(2013) : 115-125. eScholarID:178679 | DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.10.014
  • Shekelle P, Pronovost P, Wachter R, …Walshe K et al. "The top patient safety strategies that can be encouraged for adoption now." Annals of Internal Medicine 158, no. 5(2013) : 365-368. eScholarID:290838 | DOI:10.7326/0003-4819-158-5-201303051-00001
  • Walshe K. "Lansley’s legacy: how not to do health reform." British Medical Journal 345(2012) . eScholarID:178676 | DOI:10.1136/bmj.e6109.
  • Kislov R, Walshe K, Harvey G. "Managing Boundaries in Primary Care Service Improvement: A Developmental Approach to Communities of Practice." Implementation Science 7(2012) . eScholarID:178699 | DOI:10.1186/1748-5908-7-97
  • Walshe K, Ham C. "Can the government’s proposals for NHS reform be made to work?" British Medical Journal 342(2011) . eScholarID:178695 | DOI:10.1136/bmj.d2038
  • 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) . eScholarID:178690 | DOI:10.1186/1748-5908-6-64
  • 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. eScholarID:178697 | DOI:10.1080/13698575.2011.558624
  • 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. eScholarID:81954 | DOI:10.1016/j.polsoc.2010.03.003
  • 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. eScholarID:1g117 | DOI:10.1093/intqhc/mzp012
  • 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. eScholarID:1g76 | DOI:10.1136/qshc.2008.029447
  • 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. eScholarID:1g88 | DOI:10.1136/qshc.2008.029355
  • 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 (British Medical Journal) 336(2008) : 920-923. eScholarID:1g48 | DOI:10.1136/bmj.39538.584190.47
  • 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. eScholarID:1g82
  • 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. eScholarID:70104
  • 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. eScholarID:1b4426 | DOI:10.1332/174426407781738065
  • 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. eScholarID:70120 | DOI:10.1177/1049732306298976
  • 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. eScholarID:70102 | DOI:10.1093/intqhc/mzm004
  • Jon Glasby, Walshe, K., Harvey, G. "What counts as 'evidence' in 'evidence-based practice?" Evidence and Policy 3(3)(2007) : 325-327. eScholarID:1b4425 | DOI:10.1332/174426407781738038
  • Benson LA, 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 11, no. 3(2006) : 213-224. eScholarID:70125 | DOI:10.1108/14777270610683146
  • Walshe, K., Davies H T, Gruen R, Lavis J. "Working within and beyond the Cochrane Collaboration to make systematic reviews more useful to healthcare managers and policymakers."(2006) : 21-33. eScholarID:1b9857
  • Walshe, K., Benson, L. "General Medical Council and the future of revalidation: time for radical reform." British Medical Journal 330(7506)(2005) : 1504-1506. eScholarID:1b9860 | DOI:10.1136/bmj.330.7506.1504
  • Walshe, K. "Health Care Under New Labour: rebuilding or dismantling the NHS?" 11(2005) : 73-76. eScholarID:1b9977
  • Pawson, R., Greenhalgh, T., Harvey, G., Walshe, K. "Realist review - a new method of systematic review designed for complex policy interventions." Journal of Health Services Research & Policy 10(S1)(2005) : 21-34. eScholarID:1b9859 | DOI:10.1258/1355819054308530
  • Walshe, K. "UK Election: nowhere to go [commentary]."(2005) : 986-987. eScholarID:1b9976
  • Walshe, K., Freeman T. "Achieving progress through clinical governance? A national study of healthcare managers' perceptions in the NHS in England." 13(2004) : 335-343. eScholarID:1b9983
  • Benson, L., Venning, P., Young, R., Walshe, K., Mullen, C. "Beginning to Reinvigorate the Workforce." British Journal of Health Care Management 10(9)(2004) : 274-279. eScholarID:1b9285
  • Walshe, K., Smith J Q. "Big Business: The Corporatization of Primary Care in the UK and the USA."(2004) : 87-96. eScholarID:1b8689
  • Walshe, K., Giles S, Cook G, Jones M, Todd B, Mason M. "Developing a multiprofessionally agreed list of adverse events for clinical incident reporting in trauma." 9(2004) : 225-231. eScholarID:1b9980
  • Walshe, K., Hunter D, Smith J, Dixon J, Edwards N, Mays N, Normand C, Robinson R. "Primary Care Trusts: premature reorganisation with mergers may be harmful [editorial]."(2004) : 871-872. eScholarID:1b9979
  • Walshe, K., Shortell S M. "Social Regulation of Healthcare Organizations in the United States: developing a framework for evaluation." 17(2004) : 79-99. eScholarID:1b9982 | DOI:10.1258/095148404323043118
  • Walshe, K., Shortell S M. "What Happens When Things Go Wrong: how healthcare organisations deal with major failures." 23(2004) : 103-111. eScholarID:1b9847
  • Walshe, K., Shortell, S M. "When Things Go Wrong: how health care organisations deal with major failures." Health Affairs 23(3)(2004) : 103-111. eScholarID:1b9153 | DOI:10.1377/hlthaff.23.3.103
  • Walshe, K., Freeman T. "The Effectiveness of Quality Improvement: learning from evaluations." 11(2002) : 85-87. eScholarID:1b9985 | DOI:10.1136/qhc.11.1.85
  • Walshe, K., Harrington C. "The Regulation of Nursing Facilities in the US: an analysis of the resources and performance of state survey agencies."(2002) : 475-487. eScholarID:1b9984
  • Walshe, K., Offen N. "A very public failure: lessons for quality improvement in healthcare organisations from the Bristol Royal Infirmary." 10(2001) : 250-256. eScholarID:1b8684 | DOI:10.1136/qhc.0100250
  • Walshe, K., Freeman T, Latham L, Spurgeon P, Wallace L. "Clinical Governance, Organisational Culture and Change Management in the new NHS." 10(2001) : 23-31. eScholarID:1b10054
  • Walshe, K. "Don't try this at home: health policy lessons for the NHS from the United States." 21(2001) : 31-35. eScholarID:1b8682 | DOI:10.1111/1468-0270.00322
  • Walshe, K., Freeman T, Latham L, Spurgeon P, Wallace L. "Evaluating Mandated Quality Improvement: results of a survey in the NHS in England." 3(2001) : 15-22. eScholarID:1b10055
  • Walshe, K., Rundall T. "Evidence-based management: from theory to practice in health care." Milbank Quarterly 79(3)(2001) : 429-457. eScholarID:1b8685 | DOI:10.1111/1468-0009.00214
  • Walshe, K., Freeman T, Latham L, Spurgeon P, Wallace L. "How Do Trusts Intend to Measure Progress in Clinical Governance ?" 9(2001) : 33-39. eScholarID:1b10056
  • Walshe, K., Freeman T, Latham L, Wallace L. "Organisational Strategies for Changing Clinical Practice: how trusts are meeting the challenges of clinical governance." 10(2001) : 76-82. eScholarID:1b10053 | DOI:10.1136/qhc.10.2.76
  • Walshe, K. "Regulating Nursing Homes in the United States: are we learning from experience?" 20(2001) : 128-144. eScholarID:1b8683
  • Walshe, K. "The Development of Clinical Risk Management." Clinical Risk Management: Enhancing Patient Safety(2001) . eScholarID:1b10052
  • Walshe, K. "The external review of quality improvement in healthcare organisations: a qualitative study." 13(5)(2001) : 367-374. eScholarID:1b8677
  • Walshe, K., Bradshaw, D. "Stuck in the Middle.". eScholarID:1b9932
  • Walshe, K., Benson, L. "The Future of Professional Regulation in UK Healthcare: time for radical reform."1504-1506. eScholarID:1b9793


  • McBride, A., Mustchin, S., Cox, A L., Hyde, P., Walshe, K., Antonacopoulou E. 2005. Mapping the Progress of Skill Escalator Activities: early results from a survey of learning and development professionals within NHS Trusts. Dept of Health Policy Research Unit. eScholarID:5b645
  • Walshe, K., Vincent C A, Esmail A, Neale G, Elstein M, Firth Cozens J. 2004. Learning from Litigation: an analysis of claims for clinical negligence. University of Manchester. eScholarID:5b694
  • Walshe, K., Vincent C A, Gray A, Esmail A, Fenn P, Rivero-Arias O, Trevethick G, Trevethick K. 2004. The Epidemiology of Error : an analysis of databases of clinical negligence litigation, Walshe, K et al. University of Manchester. eScholarID:5b693
  • Ray Pawson, Trish Greenhalgh, Harvey, G., Walshe, K. 2004. Using realist methods to produce syntheses of evidence for use by managers and policy makers. eScholarID:5b88
  • Walshe, K. 2003. Inquiries : learning from failure in the NHS. Nuffield Trust. eScholarID:5b696
  • Walshe, K., Hyde, P., McBride, A. 2003. Making a Start on Workforce Redesign: early lessons from the Changing Workforce Programme. Dept of Health Policy Research Unit. eScholarID:5b646
  • Walshe, K. 2002. All Change ? Implementing clinical governance in NHS trusts in England. Manchester: MCHM, University of Manchester. eScholarID:5b695
  • Walshe, K. 2002. The Evaluation of the commission of Health Improvement's performance and impact on the NHS: a scoping review. MCHM, University of Manchester. eScholarID:5b697

Journal contribution

  • Walshe K, Smith J. "Comprehensive spending review and the NHS: financial crisis is deferred but not averted." British Medical Journal(2015) . eScholarID:290821 | DOI:10.1136/bmj.h6477.
  • Walshe K, Smith J. "Tackling the NHS’s unprecedented deficit and securing reform:the new government’s response has so far largely missed the point." British Medical Journal(2015) . eScholarID:290824 | DOI:10.1136/bmj.h4670
  • Walshe K, Archer J. "Medical regulation: more reforms are needed." British Medical Journal(2014) . eScholarID:290826 | DOI:10.1136/bmj.g5744
  • Walshe K, Wolfe C. "Health services research at a time of turbulent change and austerity." Journal of Health Services Research and Policy 17, no. 1(2012) . eScholarID:178686 | DOI:10.1258/jhsrp.2012.012004
  • Walshe K. "The consequences of abandoning the Health and Social Care Bill." British Medical Journal 344(2012) . eScholarID:178688 | DOI:10.1136/bmj.e748


  • Walshe, K. International Comparisons of the Quality of Healthcare: what do they tell us? [commentary]. Vol. 12. 2003. 10.1136/qhc.12.1.4. 4-5.
  • Walshe, K. Evangelism for Quality. S46-S47.