• Professor of Healthcare Improvement Research​, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester
  • A medical sociologist and researcher with a particular interest in preventive services and women’s health
  • Fellowship project will investigate the potential for system change to mitigate over-diagnosis and over-treatment within the health system
  • 2016 Improvement Science Fellow

Natalie Armstrong is currently Professor of Healthcare Improvement Research in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Leicester. She is joint lead of the Social Science Applied to Healthcare Improvement Research (SAPPHIRE) group, which undertakes qualitative, practically useful research dedicated to improving the quality of health care.

A medical sociologist by training, Natalie has established herself as a highly credible researcher with a particular interest in preventive services and women’s health. She is committed to bridging the gap between research, policy and practice, and in 2009 was awarded a prestigious Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) fellowship working with the health policy team in the Strategy Unit of the Cabinet Office.

Natalie recently led a qualitative evaluation of the NHS Safety Thermometer, and is currently leading an evaluation of the feasibility of using the Patient Activation Measure in the NHS in England.

Natalie’s project

During her Improvement Science Fellowship, Natalie will investigate the potential for system change to mitigate over-diagnosis and over-treatment within the UK health system, and how this can be balanced with interventions to prevent under-treatment:

‘To tackle the question of how to achieve “just enough medicine”, I will combine a literature review based on critical interpretive synthesis with a small number of case studies using interviews and documentary analysis in different care contexts. This will build an understanding of how and why over-diagnosis and over-treatment happen, the effects they have, and what strategies might be used to help tackle the problem.’

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