Professor Ruth Boaden

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Profile photo of: Professor Ruth Boaden Email: Show Email Address
Position: Director, NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) Greater Manchester and Professor of Service Operations Management, Manchester Business School
Academic unit: People, Management and Organisations


Ruth is Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) Greater Manchester, and Professor of Service Operations at Manchester Business School.

The NIHR CLAHRC for Greater Manchester was established in January 2014, following 5 years of funding (2008-2013) for an previous CLAHRC. It carries out and implements evidence-based research in order to benefit the people of Greater Manchester. It is a collaboration of all 10 PCTs and other NHS organisations in Greater Manchester with the University of Manchester and has £20m of funding over five years. Ruth led the implementation programme in the previous CLAHRC, and is now the Director.

Her research interests cover a wide range of areas within health services management and focus now on quality and improvement and the use of 'industrial' methods within the NHS, as well as the implementation of new approaches. Ruth has a focus on knowledge transfer arising from high quality research, to ensure that the findings are accessible and applicable to practice.

Past research includes work concerned with HRM and performance, electronic health records, re-engineering, operating theatre management and scheduling, patient safety, the management of emergency admissions, bed management and chronic disease management. She has published widely in these areas as well as in the areas of implementation and quality management.

She has taught service and quality improvement to postgraduate students, including those on the NHS General Management Training Scheme and Operations Management on the MBS full-time MBA programme. She also has a track record of teaching post-experience students and regularly participates in MBS Executive Education programmes as well as speaking at conferences for the NHS and associated organisations.

Research Interests

Quality management in health care
Ruth's book on the theory and practice of quality improvement in healthcare, written with colleagues from MBS, has been widely distributed to healthcare organisations across the world and is used in training and research.
She co-edited a book reviewing patient safety research and has applied service quality concepts to health care;research on patient involvement in accessing and correcting electronic health records, six sigma and copying letters to patients, the results of which were incorporated into national guidance.
Knowledge Transfer
Ruth has always been actively involved in knowledge transfer, and the opportunities arising from the NIHR CLAHRC for Greater Manchester are enabling development of approaches to putting research into practice that are at the forefront of this issue within healthcare.From 2003-2006 she was a Non-Executive Director of Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, where she tried to put theory into practice.
Process Analysis
Ruth carried out research in bed management and patient flow concepts which led to the provision of training programmes for NHS staff and improvements in service delivery. This work also led to the award of PhDs to members of NHS staff which led to improvements in service performance.
Ruth was a member of the team who carried out the national evaluation of a community matron model for managing long-term conditions.
Performance management
Research investigating the links between HRM and performance in the NHS focused on the performance of NHS organisations, and the various policy influences on NHS operation. A PhD focused on performance measurement in the voluntary sector was supervised in 2006.

Programme involvement

Specialist fields




Publication summary




Working papers

LCMNTitleYear published
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Masters programmes

Ruth has taught on a range of postgraduate programmes including:

  • MBS full-time MBA programme - Operations Management course
  • MBS MSc in Healthcare Management - Leadership and Service Improvement module
  • NHS General Management Training Scheme - Service Improvement module

Ruth also provides guest sessions on the MA in Healthcare Leadership and Management at the Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham.

She set up and directed the Leadership through Effective People Management programme for the NHS, which was run in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers from 2001-2006 and provided for directors and deputies from across the NHS, with over 110 students graduating with an MSc. This included a module on service improvement in healthcare, which she designed and delivered.

Showing 111 publication(s)



  • Fulop, N., Ramsay, A., Perry, C., Boaden, R., McKevitt, C., Rudd, A. G., ... Morris, S. (2016). Explaining outcomes in major system change: a qualitative study of implementing centralised acute stroke services in two large metropolitan regions in England. Implementation Science, 11, [80]. DOI: 10.1186/s13012-016-0445-z. Publication link: 2ac9b249-d3c6-4f41-8fdc-f41af768bd5a
  • Furnival, J., & Boaden, R. (2016). Quality improvement in healthcare. In Healthcare Management. (3 ed.). Open University Press. . Publication link: 3528715a-0177-4ec8-bf5f-8b08f30d688d
  • Greenhalgh, T., Annandale, E., Ashcroft, R., Barlow, J., Black, N., Bleakley, A., ... Ziebland, S. (2016). An open letter to The BMJ editors on qualitative research. The BMJ, 352, i563. . Publication link: 87980dae-ddbc-4741-9af1-7c7b7fa6cbea | PubMed:26865572
  • Turner, S., Ramsay, A., Perry, C., Boaden, R., McKevitt, C., Morris, S., ... Fulop, N. (2016). Lessons for major system change: centralization of stroke services in two metropolitan areas of England. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy. DOI: 10.1177/1355819615626189. Publication link: 5c820568-d32d-4503-bc13-9ded41fef79e
  • Raine, R., Fitzpatrick, R., Barratt, H., Bevan, G., Black, N., Boaden, R., ... Zwarenstein, M. (2016). Challenges, solutions and future directions in the evaluation of service innovations in health care and public health.Health Services and Delivery Research, 4(16). DOI: 10.3310/hsdr04160. Publication link: d91129f8-b64d-4dad-92ef-2b2b00bf243d
  • Fulop, N. J., Ramsay, A. I. G., Vindrola-Padros, C., Aitchison, M., Boaden, R., Brinton, V., ... Morris, S. (2016). Reorganising specialist cancer surgery for the twenty-first century: a mixed methods evaluation (RESPECT-21). Implementation science : IS, 11(1), [155]. DOI: 10.1186/s13012-016-0520-5. Publication link: cf50d45b-9eb8-468c-b1f8-69e7d7193b82 | PubMed:27884193


  • Harvey, G., Hegarty, J., Humphreys, J., Rothwell, K., Kislov, R., Entwistle, V., & Boaden, R. (2015). Facilitation methods within a project to improve the management of chronic kidney disease in primary care. In G. Harvey, & A. Kitson (Eds.), Implementing Evidence-Based Practice in Healthcare: A Facilitation Guide. (pp. 115-133). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. . Publication link: ed58db4f-e9f7-46d0-b0cc-2bfdeb0de074
  • McKevitt, C., Perry, C., Ramsay, A., Pursani, N., Turner, S., Papachristou, I., ... Fulop, N. (2015). Lay involvement in stroke service reorganization: Practices and queries. International Journal of Stroke, 10(2, SI), 359-359. . Publication link: bff36ce1-22f1-4a81-a934-284ce183e51e
  • Savas, L. A., Grady, K., Cotterill, S., Summers, L., Boaden, R., & Gibson, J. M. (2015). Prioritising prevention: Implementation of IGT Care Call, a telephone based service for people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Primary Care Diabetes, 9(1), 3-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.pcd.2014.07.003. Publication link: 31f0e124-d085-4c58-b48d-5d660e2965b1
  • Humphreys, J., Howard, S., Soiland-Reyes, C., Mellor, P., Born, A., Wood, S., ... Kislov, R. (2015). Findings from a consultation exercise about current primary care priorities for kidney health in Greater Manchester. NIHR CLAHRC Greater Manchester.. Publication link: 3bc52d1a-6186-40b9-a8cd-5ad64ddfda8d
  • Kislov, R., & Boaden, R. (2015). Evaluation of the NIHR CLAHRCs and publication of results: A brief reflection. NIHR CLAHRC Greater Manchester.. Publication link: 4e3fa13a-b90b-4604-850b-c2824383fa09
  • Ramsay, A. I. G., Morris, S., Hoffman, A., Hunter, R. M., Boaden, R., McKevitt, C., ... Fulop, N. J. (2015). Effects of Centralizing Acute Stroke Services on Stroke Care Provision in Two Large Metropolitan Areas in England. Stroke, 46(8), 2244-2251. DOI: 10.1161/strokeaha.115.009723. Publication link: 091df7f1-1825-4f07-93b1-ba56db0a172f
  • McDonald, R., Boaden, R., Roland, M., Kristensen, S. R., Meacock, R., Lau, Y-S., ... Sutton, M. (2015). A qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the Advancing Quality pay-for-performance programme in the NHS North West. Health Services Delivery Research, 3(23). DOI: 10.3310/hsdr03230. Publication link: 9e27254b-4f5f-49cf-87f0-4449582edd11


  • Mcdonald, R., Boaden, R., Roland, M., Kristensen, S. R., Meacock, R., Lau, Y-S., ... Sutton, M. (2014). Evaluation of the advancing quality pay for performance programme in the NHS North West. Health Services and Delivery Research, n/a. . Publication link: 51f650ca-8a30-4b16-9fa7-4d16febaa4de
  • Kislov, R., & Boaden, R. (2014). Hybrid professionals as institutionalised knowledge brokers: Limited managerial authority in a constraining context. Paper presented at the 9th International Organisational Behaviour in Healthcare Conference (OBHC), Copenhagen, Denmark.. Publication link: 9a987716-8383-49e8-8c27-85ca36c21ffd
  • Morris, S., Hunter, R. M., Ramsay, A. I. G., Boaden, R., McKevitt, C., Perry, C., ... Fulop, N. J. (2014). Impact of centralising acute stroke services in English metropolitan areas on mortality and length of hospital stay: Difference-in-differences analysis. BMJ, 349, [g4757]. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.g4757. Publication link: 8e8b4a56-388f-4e5f-9379-b6046cf90d47
  • Kristensen, S. R., Meacock, R., Turner, A., Boaden, R., McDonald, R., Roland, M., & Sutton, M. (2014). Long-Term Effect of Hospital Pay for Performance on Mortality in England. New England Journal of Medicine, 371(6), 540-548. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1400962. Publication link: 286cac0e-a3b2-425a-947e-9cb97d1dbd52
  • Ramsay, A., Morris, S., Hoffman, A., Hunter, R., Boaden, R., McKevitt, C., ... Fulop, N. (2014). The impact of stroke service reconfigurations on provision of evidence based stroke care: Controlled before and after analysis. International Journal of Stroke, 9, 7-7. DOI: 10.1111/ijs.12374_9. Publication link: 3684649b-a5b5-4147-b278-15ef9502ad93


  • Kislov, R., Waterman, H., Harvey, G., & Boaden, R. (2013). Rethinking capacity building for knowledge mobilisation: A practice-based approach. Paper presented at the Annual Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR) Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada.. Publication link: 53e1b845-8a7a-4117-9359-b402a182ac62
  • Oliver, K., Kislov, R., Harvey, G., & Boaden, R. (2013). Towards evidence-based quality improvement: The theory/practice balancing act. Poster session presented at 30th Conference of the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua). UK, Edinburgh, .. Publication link: e8096f6d-9635-441d-8183-5d0eada3a163
  • Hyde, P., Sparrow, P., Boaden, R., & Harris, C. (2013). High performance HRM: NHS employee perspectives. Journal of health organization and management, 27(3), 296-311. . Publication link: bf644dd7-4b59-4496-b13f-fa95a416091b
  • Betzlbacher, A-F., Grady, K., Savas, L., Cotterill, S., Boaden, R., Summers, L., & Gibson, M. (2013). Behaviour change among people with impaired glucose tolerance: Comparison of telephone-based and face-to-face advice. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 18(no. 1 suppl), 2-6. DOI: 10.1177/1355819612473582. Publication link: 9eb59754-4b1d-4c3a-bfc6-7193c05c2c76
  • Fulop, N., Boaden, R., Hunter, R., McKevitt, C., Morris, S., Pursani, N., ... Wolfe, C. D. A. (2013). Innovations in major system reconfiguration in England: a study of the effectiveness, acceptability and processes of implementation of two models of stroke care. Implementation Science, 8. DOI: 10.1186/1748-5908-8-5. Publication link: abc32f47-3e85-4b85-ad9e-e0d3521fa6b2


  • Sutton, M., Nikolova, S., Boaden, R., Lester, H., McDonald, R., & Roland, M. (2012). Association between Mortality and Hospital Pay for Performance in England.New England Journal of Medicine, 367, 1821-1828. . Publication link: 7a70b4c8-7dd4-496b-b730-870e6c790680


  • Harvey, G., Fitzgerald, L., Fielden, S., Mcbride, A., Waterman, H., Bamford, D., ... Boaden, R. (2011). The NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for Greater Manchester: Combining empirical, theoretical and experiential evidence to design and evaluate a large-scale implementation strategy. Implementation Science, 6, [96]. DOI: 10.1186/1748-5908-6-96. Publication link: 8488a2d4-d2bf-4d4e-8a17-7dabc31b8d9f


  • Boaden, R. (2009). Quality Improvement in Healthcare: theory and practice. British Journal of Healthcare Management, 15(1), 12-16. . Publication link: dafe87e6-b1e7-4d60-b56a-c2c81607f26c
  • Sheaff, R., Boaden, R., Sargent, P., Pickard, S., Gravelle, H., Parker, S., & Roland, M. (2009). Impacts of case management for frail elderly people: A qualitative study. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 14(2), 88-95. DOI: 10.1258/jhsrp.2008.007142. Publication link: 42ccbea0-c4b4-407c-9e58-b560d6594784


  • Radnor, Z., & Boaden, R. (2008). Editorial: Lean in public services - Panacea or paradox?Public Money & Management, 28(1), 3-7. . Publication link: 7b82d075-3b76-434d-afe3-5426812b8b3e
  • Boaden, R., Harvey, G., Moxham, C., & Proudlove, N. (2008). Quality Improvement: theory and practice in healthcare. Coventry: NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement/Manchester Business School.. Publication link: 6e28c8de-8044-4b62-aa63-382d46632321
  • Boaden, R., & Harvey, G. (2008). Organising for quality improvement and patient safety. In Managing Clinical Processes in Health Services. Australia: Elsevier. . Publication link: ce5484c9-031b-45cd-aab9-85cf318f73a0
  • Boaden, R., Marchington, M., Hyde, P., Harris, P., Sparrow, C., Pass, P., ... Cortvriend, M. (2008). The process of engagement and alignment: improving health through human resource management. (Department of Health). London: chartered institute of personnel and development.. Publication link: b5b27194-2e77-4041-b9fb-800ec6e67383


  • Moxham, C., & Boaden, R. (2007). The impact of performance measurement in the voluntary sector - Identification of contextual and processual factors. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 27(8), 826-845. DOI: 10.1108/01443570710763796. Publication link: 0de4337a-ab8e-4b48-b871-3293f2363121
  • Gravelle, H., Dusheiko, M., Sheaff, R., Sargent, P., Boaden, R., Pickard, S., ... Roland, M. (2007). Impact of case management (Evercare) on frail elderly patients: Controlled before and after analysis of quantitative outcome data. BMJ, 334(7583), 31-34. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.390120.413310.55. Publication link: 09e9367a-7648-4542-9939-f48e450904a1
  • Boaden, R., Moxham, C., & Hannagan, T. (Ed.) (2007). Operations management. In Management: Concepts and Practice. (5th ed., pp. 455-498). Harlow: Pearson Education. . Publication link: 1acb5ce2-8534-4bf1-a3f7-cf7695b335da
  • Hyde, P., Boaden, R., Marchington, M., Harris, C., Sparrow, P., Pass, S., ... Cortvriend, P. (2007). Improving health through human resource management: Summary findings. (Department of Health). London: chartered institute of personnel and development.. Publication link: 212d78b4-2693-4fb2-a0e9-3cf68e6cbf9f


  • Proudlove, N. C., & Boaden, R. (2006). Information systems for supporting operational management of hospital beds in the NHS. International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 7(6), 474-491. . Publication link: 4d4e2abf-f38c-4e46-a3e6-b4abeaffe100
  • Boaden, R., & Walshe, K. (Ed.) (2006). The Quality Management Contribution to Patient Safety. In Patient Safety: Research into Practice. (pp. 41-65). Maidenhead: Open University Press. . Publication link: 93db70c8-4be2-470c-8274-e61e18d53b5d
  • Proudlove, N., & Boaden, R. (2006). What is six sigma… and does it matter? In Proceedings of the European Operations Management Association (EUROMA) Conference. (Vol. 2, pp. 389-397). Publication link: aa766b63-183c-42d4-83c0-852c4fc79f53
  • Boaden, R., Harris, C., Cortvriend, P., & Hyde, P. (2006). HR High Impact Changes: An Evidence Based Resource. London: Department of Health.. Publication link: b3d646bc-6ca1-4616-adb3-df44267de0a8
  • Hyde, P., Boaden, R., Harris, C., Cortvriend, P., Marchington, M., Sparrow, P., ... Sibbald, B. (2006). Improving Health through HRM: Mapping the Territory. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development: London.. Publication link: b55c33c0-5c49-4315-b12a-8244416df243
  • Boaden, R., & Walshe, K. (2006). Conclusion - And The Way Forward. In Patient Safety: Research into Practice. (pp. 217-230). Maidenhead: Open University Press. . Publication link: f24181a0-d1cf-43c9-ab9e-9a6a5fe1fa30
  • Hyde, P., Boaden, R., Marchington, M., Harris, C., M, P., Sparrow, P., ... Cortvriend, P. (2006). A starting point for change: Improving health through HRM. (Department of Health). London: chartered institute of personnel and development.. Publication link: e9260892-95e0-49d5-b929-8aa4cbdcf9fa


  • Boaden, R., & Walshe, K. (2005). Introduction. In Patient Safety: Research into Practice. (pp. 1-6). Maidenhead: Open University Press. . Publication link: f1b63b62-1a07-4d70-951e-06b7b979cf17
  • McDonald, R., Waring, J., Harrison, S., Walshe, K., & Boaden, R. (2005). Rules and guidelines in clinical practice: A qualitative study in operating theatres of doctors' and nurses' views. Quality and Safety in Health Care, 14(4), 290-294. DOI: 10.1136/qshc.2005.013912. Publication link: 483fa745-a075-4874-926a-c943648e80a8
  • Moxham, C., & Boaden, R. (2005). Voluntary sector performance measurement: A balanced approach? In 3rd EIASM Conference on Performance Measurement and Management Control.. Publication link: 86cc7958-74f8-41c5-9cd4-6151174e9743
  • Boaden, R., Harvey, G., Proudlove, N., Greatbanks, R., Shephard, A., & Moxham, C. (2005). Quality Improvement: theory and practice in the NHS and evaluation of the NHS Modernisation Agency six sigma initiative. (NHS Modernisation Agency). MBS.. Publication link: 8c753ad1-0d54-405b-831f-ff560c7bb064




  • Boaden, R., & Bamford, D. R. (2002). Improving the Operation of Operating Theatres: data triangulation, change management and action research in operating theatres. In host publication. Aldershot: Ashgate. . Publication link: 9cce0127-6e81-45bd-ba9d-5baace349efc
  • Boaden, R., & Yakas, A. (2002). Learning About the Relationships Between PCG/Ts and NHS Direct: a soft systems methodology approach. In host publication.. Publication link: 0d8610b6-176a-4fdc-8508-7622a94616ca
  • Wheelwright, R., Birchall, M. A., Boaden, R., Pearce, G., & Lennon, A. (2002). Critical path analysis in head and neck cancer: a management technique for surgical oncology. European journal of oncology nursing : the official journal of European Oncology Nursing Society, 6(3), 148-54. DOI: 10.1054/ejon.2002.0196. Publication link: efdc5fa6-3816-47ae-b934-81ae3c06ddad


  • Boaden, R., Faragher, E., Proudlove, N., & Waterman, C. (2001). Evaluation of Greater Manchester Emergency Admissions Policy. In host publication.. Publication link: ed946b5e-7223-4eb3-a4ff-a794312d722e
  • Munir, S., Boaden, R., Patel, V. L. (Ed.), Rogers, R. (Ed.), & Haux, R. (Ed.) (2001). Patient empowerment and the electronic health record. In Medinfo 2001: Proceedings of the 10th World Congress on Medical Informatics, Pts 1 and 2. (Vol. 84, pp. 663-665). (Studies in Health Technology and Informatics).. Publication link: 4f6e35ca-6e0c-41ac-b84d-3cc1abd6080c
  • Boaden, R., Proudlove, N., & Waterman, C. (2001). Sharing the Risks and Reaping the Benefits of a Collaborative Emergency Admissions Policy. In host publication.. Publication link: 2b7089c0-5bf5-4e7c-809d-8a4ae6c155f0
  • Boaden, R., Haywood, P., Turner, J., & Massey, M. (2001). Benchmarking Bed Management - The State of the Art? An Exploration of Best Practice in Bed Management. In host publication. Pitman. . Publication link: 383b3543-6eae-4582-b5c7-36b0b19d1a64
  • Boaden, R., Birchall, M., & Wheelwright, R. (2001). A Controlled Clinical Trial of Critical Path Analysis as a Technique for Continuous Improvement in the Care of Patients with Head and Neck Cancer. Unknown Journal, 37. . Publication link: 1166545d-4b0a-4006-9be4-c0bc5ff5d1fb




  • Spring, M., & Boaden, R. (1997). ''One more time: How do you win orders?'' A critical reappraisal of the Hill manufacturing strategy framework. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 17(7-8), 757. DOI: 10.1108/01443579710175547. Publication link: 8b207395-f93d-418a-9e44-70a17787af99
  • Dale, B. G., Boaden, R. J., Wilcox, M., & McQuater, R. E. (1997). Total quality management sustaining audit tool: Description and use. Total Quality Management, 8(6), 395-408. . Publication link: f9024e6c-28bf-4d52-a752-6392ca8b5a1e


  • Wilcox, M., Dale, B. G., Boaden, R. J., & McQuater, R. E. (1996). Managing for quality: The strategic issues. International Journal of Technology Management, 12(1), 59-74. . Publication link: 6bddf6cd-53e2-44d1-9ba1-c44d45b44b29


  • McQuater, R. E., Dale, B. G., Boaden, R. J., & Wilcox, M. (1994). IDENTIFICATION AND CLASSIFICATION OF ISSUES AND DIFFICULTIES ASSOCIATED WITH QUALITY MANAGEMENT-TECHNIQUES AND TOOLS. (Advances in Agile Manufacturing: Integrating Technology, Organization and People). No publisher name.. Publication link: 0f45ff7e-ab19-45b2-84c9-16ac911a2268
  • McQuater, R. E., Dale, B. G., Wilcox, M., Boaden, R. J., & Inst Elect, E. (1994). THE EFFECTIVENESS OF QUALITY MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES AND TOOLS IN THE CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT PROCESS - AN EXAMINATION. In Fourth International Conference on Factory 2000 - Advanced Factory Automation. (pp. 574-580). (Iee Conference Publications; Vol. 398).. Publication link: 62ff975a-ee21-463f-85bf-72dca4b9ce5f



  • Boaden, R. J., & Dale, B. G. (1992). A FRAMEWORK FOR MANAGING QUALITY IMPROVEMENT. (International Operations: Crossing Borders in Manufacturing and Service). No publisher name.. Publication link: 1cb965b2-903a-4d4f-99b0-a4eac3713c7c