Health Policy Insight
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Tom Smith

Associate Director

Health Policy Insight

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Tom has enjoyed a wide range of perspectives on health and healthcare. He studied at the London School of Economics before beginning his career as a NHS management trainee based at St George’s University Hospital in London.

Tom then moved to the Nuffield Trust where he remains an associate. He began by surveying university hospital chief executives and heads of medical schools on their institutional relationships. His analysis led to an influential report on the governance of university clinical partnerships. In 1998, Tom was then appointed as a research fellow at the University of Wales College of Medicine examining relationships between that institution and the wider NHS in Wales.

In 1999, the Nuffield Trust published Tom’s monograph on University Clinical Partnership: 'A New Framework for NHS University Relations'. Tom has lectured on this subject in a number of countries and twice given keynote speeches to OECD conferences. He has worked with the Skåne Region in southern Sweden to develop a new regional structure to overcome institutional barriers to supporting clinical research.

In 2000, Tom became a research associate at the Judge Business School at Cambridge University where he led a large research project on clinical governance, exploring the factors that help and hinder clinicians to focus on quality improvement. During this period Tom completed a PhD in organisational behaviour.

In 2003, Tom was appointed Senior Policy Analyst at the BMA. He worked closely with the Chairman of Council on policy issues that cut across different committee interests. He authored a range of policy papers at the BMA, setting out, for example, a way for NHS reform to better support a focus on long-term conditions.

Tom has written widely on health policy matters. At the BMA, he founded and edited a new policy journal, Health Policy Review. He wrote a regular analysis of newly published research for the BMJ journal, Quality & Safety in Health Care, between 1999 and 2004.

Since November 2007 Tom has been chief executive of the British Society of Gastroenterology.