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Professor Aileen Clarke





WMS - Population Evidence and Technologies
University of Warwick
Tel: 024 7615 0063

Research Interests

My health services research involves using multidisciplinary methods to distil the best evidence and to promote its use at the policy, organisational, population and individual levels for quality improvement. I undertake research on:

  • health technology assessments (HTAs) for NICE and other policy makers as one of 9 technology assessment teams across the UK
  • Cochrane systematic reviews which are authoritative and NHS-wide in their reach
  • the relationship between research evidence and decisions in health commissioning, matching research evidence to health need (national study across 15 NHS commissioning organisations)
  • getting research evidence into individual clinical decisions including use of information, guidelines, shared decision making, decision analysis and choice
  • Prevention and detection of diseases with an emphasis on reducing heart disease and increasing cancer screening

I lead teams who undertake:

  • work to provide NICE with the essential clinical and cost effectiveness information it needs to make decisions for current practice across the NHS systematic reviews for the Cochrane collaboration of primary prevention for cardiovascular disease
  • methodological work on survival analysis,cost-effectiveness and meta-analysis important to improve future HTAs and jointly with the LSTM as part of CAHRD we undertake systematic reviews relevant to populations in low and middle income countries
  • systematic reviews e.g to improve ambulance safety work on performance measurement and management in the NHS to improve quality e.g. investigating readmissions to hospital.
  • Rapid and systematic reviews for the National Screening Committee to help shape policy and practice


I studied medicine at the University of Oxford and trained and practised for a short time as a GP. I went on to take my MSc in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene &Tropical Medicine, achieving both a distinction and the prize. I completed my Public Health training and worked in North London in a substantive consultant post at regional level where I had responsibility for 2.4 million people. I became a senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene &Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and ran the MSc in public health at the LSHTM before joining Warwick Medical School in 2007.

My research interests and publications focus on evidence for clinical practice, patient-centred care and policy and on health technology assessment. I have recently been awarded >£4.7 million programme grant funding from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) HTA programme to set up and run Warwick Evidence; one of 9 technology appraisal review teams across the country. The team provides a strong link to the National Institute for Health Research and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). I am interested in decisions and shared decision-making (e.g. in hysterectomy and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and also in analysis of routine datasets in the research on primary-secondary care interface (e.g readmissions, hospitalisation rates, lengths of stay).

I have written national policy reports on death certification and health outcomes. I supervised a PhD on quality of care in general practice, producing a BMJ paper which was independently nominated for the RCGP Research Paper of the year award and have recently been awarded highly commended paper on the gap between evidence and practice in health care commissioning.

At Warwick I am responsible for ~178 staff from junior researcher to senior professor level working in the Populations Evidence and Technologies group and currently as Acting Director of the Division of Health Sciences. My group publishes high quality research and secures substantial research funding e.g. recently a joint Cochrane Programme grant for reviews of primary prevention of coronary heart disease and a grant to investigate safety in ambulance services as well as a Wellcome trust PHATIC fellowship. I have active links with national and international bodies such as the Nuffield Trust, NICE, the NHS Confederation, the Faculty of Public Health Research Policy Committee, the Royal College of GPs, the Society for Medical Decision Making and have served on grant-awarding bodies (e.g. DG Research EUFP7, NIHR HTA, HS&DS and PEGFAR). I was Honorary Treasurer for the Society for Social Medicine for several years until recently and am an editor for two international journals (Health Technology Assessment and the European Journal of Public Health). In 2008 I was made a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and in 2012 a fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

In January 2014 I became lead of the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) West Midlands, Prevention and Detection Theme 3. I am responsible for a team of 16 people including 11 members of staff and 5 PhD students. As a theme we aim to facilitate and lead collaborations between the NHS, local authorities, key organisations and stakeholders in the West Midlands. These collaborations focus on the creation and synthesis of evidence that will guide regional and international public health practice.

Teaching and education

I have taught at undergraduate and postgraduate level in three higher education institutions. I have designed Public Health and Health Services Research courses, e.g. on needs assessment for commissioning and have enjoyed helping to introduce values in patient care into the Warwick curriculum. We recently received funding from the National Screening Committee to run a course in Health Screening at Warwick. I am a Public health specialty trainer and a supervisor for Warwicks PH Integrated Clinical Academic Training. I have been an examiner for the Faculty of Public Health for over 10 years.

Research Projects

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  • Johnson, Rebecca E., Robertson, Wendy, Towey, Marsha, Stewart-Brown, Sarah L., Clarke, Aileen, 2017. Changes over time in mental well-being, fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity in a community-based lifestyle intervention : a before and after study. Public Health, 146, pp. 118-125, View

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