Emily Hough

2021/2022 Recent Returners

Current role: Senior Fellow, Brown School of Public Health 

Emily was a 2021–22 U.K. Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice. Prior to her fellowship she was Director of the Acute Provider Alliance for the NHS in North East London, where she supported collaboration across three NHS Trusts to improve quality and access to care, with a focus on COVID-19 recovery.

Emily previously spent three years as Director of Strategy at NHS England, where she led the strategy team that helped solve some of the most complex problems facing the English healthcare system. She contributed to the development of the NHS Long Term Plan and the NHS Five Year Forward View, the most recent national strategies for the future of healthcare in England. She has overseen the delivery of national programs looking at how the NHS can play a greater role in improving the wider social determinants of health, including NHS Healthy New Towns, Health and Work and the Greener NHS program. Additionally, she established the program to develop the “NHS as an anchor institution,” working in partnership with the Health Foundation to consider how healthcare can create social value in local communities.

Emily’s experience also includes advising the first NHS Trust Special Administrator and supporting the implementation of a major service reconfiguration in North Central London. She began her career as a management consultant, having studied Psychology at the University of Edinburgh.

Emily’s research explored approaches to implementing community health improvement programs in US health systems.  Healthcare is increasingly playing a role in addressing the wider social determinants of health facing local populations, which can account for up to 90% of individual health outcomes. Drawing on insights from interviews with US health systems that include at least two acute systems Emily developed a framework for health systems looking to do similar work to address Social Determinants of Health in their local communities.  This framework highlights the importance of governance and senior leadership support; community and partnership engagement; creative use of resources across communities; the importance of shared goals to drive impact and the need for more sustainable funding models for this work.

Emily has stayed in the US as a Senior Fellow at Brown University where she is working to develop research and policy relating to climate change and healthcare.  In addition to supporting research within Brown, Emily is continuing to work with the Commonwealth Fund’s Climate Change and Health Care initiative having recently published an issue brief on Action to Decarbonize the U.S. Health Care System: Lessons from the U.K.’s National Health Service.