Catherine Needham

Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham

Catherine Needham

Catherine Needham is Professor of Public Policy and Public Management in the Health Services Management Centre, at the University of Birmingham.

A public policy specialist, Catherine focuses on public service reform, with a particular focus on UK long-term care (particularly care markets and care systems).

She is Associate Director of the National Institute for Health and Care Research’s School for Social Care Research.

She is a Co-Investigator in the ESRC Centre for Care.

Catherine also works with IMPACT (Improving Adult Social Care Together), the UK centre for implementing evidence in social care, funded by ESRC and the Health Foundation.


Countries UK;
Topics Access to care; Attitudes and Expectations about Long-Term Care; Care innovations; Care outcomes; Community-based LTC; Governance and LTC systems organisation; Local care ecosystems; Long term care subsidies; LTC and people with learning disabilities; LTC Policy; LTC Reforms; LTC Systems; LTC Workforce; New models of care; Outcome measurement in LTC; Person-centered care; Research gaps and priorities in LTC; Residential LTC services; Social Innovation in LTC;
Methods Case studies; Co-production methods; Comparative policy analysis; Document analysis; Literature reviews and synthesis; Policy analysis; Qualitative studies; Theory and frameworks; Theory of Change;
Role Research;
Other 1;
Research interests

Care markets; care systems; older people; disability; consumer-directed care; personalisation; person-centred care; policy reform; policy innovation



Key publications
  • Needham, C. and Hall, P. (2023) Social Care in the UK’s Four Nations, Bristol: Policy Press.
  • Burn, E., Redgate, S., Needham. C. and Peckham, S. (2023) ‘Implementing England’s Care Act 2014: Was the Act a success and when will we know?’, International Journal of Care and Caring, 8(1), 47-63.
  • Allen, K., Burn, E., Hall, K., Mangan, C., & Needham, C. (2023). ‘They Made an Excellent Start… but After a While, It Started to Die Out’, Tensions in Combining Personalisation and Integration in English Adult Social Care. Social Policy and Society22(1), 172-186.
  • Needham, C. and Hall, P. (2023) ‘Dealing with drift: comparing social care reform in the four nations of the UK’, Social Policy and Administration, 57(3), 287-303.
  • Hummell, E., Borg, S., Foster, M., Fisher, K., & Needham, C. (2023) ‘Breaking Up Is Risky Business: Personalisation and Collaboration in a Marketised Disability Sector’, Social Policy and Society, 22 (1), 155-71.
  • Mortensen, N. and Needham, C. (2022) ‘“I do not want to be one of her favourites”: Emotional display and the coproduction of frontline care services’, Public Management Review, 25 (7), 1260-1281.
  • Hummell, E., Foster, M., Fisher, K. R., Needham, C., Borg, S. J., & Venning, A. (2022). Challenges and adaptations of an intermediary: an exploration of support coordination in the Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme. International Journal of Care and Caring, early view.
  • Needham, C., Allen, K., Burn, E., Hall, K., Mangan, C., Al-Janabi, H, Tahir, W., Henwood, M., Glasby, J, Carr, S. and McKay, S. (2022) ‘How do you shape a market? Explaining local state practices in adult social care, Journal of Social Policy, 52(3), 640-660.
  • Needham, C., Griffiths, E and Mangan, C. (2021) ‘“While you’re there can you just”: the emotional labour of role extending in public services’, Public Money and Management, 43(5), 397-404.
  • Henwood, M., McKay, S., Glasby, J. and Needham, C. (2020) ‘Self-funders: still by-standers in the English social care system?’ Social Policy and Society, 21(2), 227-241.