Senior Research Officer
Public Health, Policy and Social Sciences
Telephone: (01792) 295789
Room: Office - 129
First Floor
Haldane Building
Singleton Campus

Former NHS pharmacist, senior manager and improvement leader. Involved in developing leaders and supporting system improvers.


  1. Willson, A. Communication for collaboratives. All in. Using healthcare collaboratives to cave lives and improve care (pp. 239-262). Cynosure health
  2. Ruck, K., Cooper, A., Hurley, A., Ashton, K., Lines, C., & Willson, A. Effective messages and media for employee health campaigns. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 1-8.
  3. Willson, A. The problem with eliminating ‘low-value care’. BMJ Quality & Safety, 24(10), 611-614.
  4. Cooper, A., Gray, J., Willson, A., Lines, C., McCannon, J., & McHardy, K. Exploring the role of communications in quality improvement: A case study of the 1000 Lives Campaign in NHS Wales. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 8(1), 76-84.
  5. van Woerden, H., Ashton, K., Garlick, C., Hurley, A., Cooper, A., Willson, A., Henry, R., Kiparoglou, V., & Potter, C. Evaluation of a web based tool to improve health behaviours in healthcare staff. International Archives of Medicine, 7(1), 44

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  • PMLM20 Developing Leadership, Innovation and Change

    This module enables students to explore the nature of system, organisational and personal change. It looks at how innovations are developed and implemented and how healthcare organisations consider, develop and evaluate evidence from a range of sources. Students explore systems theory and the role of disruptive technologies in stimulating change and reflect on their own capacity and resilience to cope with change. Additionally, it aims to develop students¿ familiarity and understanding of research methods used in healthcare leadership and management research. The module also develops students¿ awareness of critical appraisal techniques and the various sources of evidence used in leadership/management research and development. It also considers how the findings of research are translated into practice and inform innovation.

  • SHQM22 Dissertation (Health Care Management)

    Students will choose their own area of study, in consultation with study supervisor, and in accordance with the aims of the award. Students will be encouraged to attempt a project-based, business-planning project while maintaining high academic standards in their research. However, students may also opt for a more theoretical exploration of an area of relevance to health care and health care management. The dissertation comprises Part Two of the MSc programme.

  • SHQM29 Quality Improvement

    This module is offered as an option for the MSc Health Care Management. The module will examine the development of quality issues in the public sector generally and in the private and public health services. Attention will be paid to the political and ideological impetus for stressing quality as a central concern in the public sector. Different perspectives on quality will be examined and the validity and appropriateness of criteria for assessing quality in the health services will be critically scrutinised. Managerial and professional mechanisms for monitoring quality will be compared with attempts to involve patients in the assessment of quality in health service provision.

  • SHQM43 Theory and Practice of Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care

    This module will enable students to develop a critical understanding of management and leadership in the context of health and social care. The module will have a dual focus on theoretical perspectives and applied health care management. Theoretical perspectives will be drawn from business, health and further afield, to examine their application within health and social care and the public sector. Contemporary health and social care examples will be used as points for discussion and learning.


  • Does medical leadership make a difference in delivering systemic healthcare improvement in the NHS and how can it be improved? (current)

    Other supervisor: Prof Judy Mckimm

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2000 2014 Director NHS Wales

External Responsibilities

  • Improvement consultant, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

    2015 - Present

Research Groups

  • Improvement Science Research Group

    "Innovating improvement of health and social care services” – a proactive and collaborative approach to translational research

Key Grants and Projects

  • All Wales Framework for Cancer in Primary Care Programme - Scoping and Baseline Report for Macmillan Cancer Support 2015 - 2016

    Working as sub-contractor to Frontline Associates