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Natalie Armstrong Professor of Healthcare Improvement Research

Organisation: University of Leicester

  • Improvement Science Fellowship
  • 4
Natalie Armstrong

About me

Natalie is an Improvement Science Fellow and Professor of Healthcare Improvement Research​, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester. 

A Professor of Healthcare Improvement Research, Natalie is a graduate of the Universities of Warwick (BA), London (MSc), and Nottingham (PhD). A medical sociologist by background, her work uses sociological ideas and methods to understand health and illness and to tackle problems in the delivery of high-quality healthcare.

Following postdoctoral positions at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Warwick, Natalie took up her first academic post in 2008 as Lecturer in Social Science Applied to Health at the University of Leicester. She has remained there ever since, being promoted to Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor in 2014 and to Professor of Healthcare Improvement Research in 2017. 

Natalie was the joint lead of the Social Science Applied to Health Improvement Research (SAPPHIRE) Research Group from 2016-2018, and then acted as the Head of Department of Health Sciences from 2018-2021. From October 2021, she is the Deputy Head of College for the College of Life Sciences at the University of Leicester. In addition to this, she is the Implementation Theme Lead for the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East Midlands and Co-Director and Theme Lead for the Wellcome Trust PhD Programme in Genomic Epidemiology and Public Health Genomics. 

Natalie’s work covers a number of healthcare topics, although she has a long-standing special interest in women’s and children’s health and in preventative healthcare. While originally trained in sociology departments, Natalie has worked ever since in health sciences environments and is committed to applied research and the practical impact of social science learning within healthcare and healthcare improvement. 

During her Improvement Science Fellowship, Natalie investigated 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. Some of the key outputs from Natalie’s Fellowship are as follows:


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