Calum Paton holds an MA (PPE) and D.Phil. in Politics from Oxford University and an MPP (Master's in Public Policy) from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has taught in Dundee and Oxford Universities and has been Assistant Secretary (Director) of the Nuffield Trust, London, before coming to Keele in 1986, becoming Professor of Health Policy in 1993 until his retirement in 2015.

Research and scholarship

Main research interests are:  evaluation of health policy and health reform in England, the UK, Europe and the USA; the politics of health and public policy

Has published ten books on health politics and policy; public policy; political economy; and political theory.  Many academic journal articles;  public policy magazine and media articles.


  •  Director and principal lecturer and tutor, MBA Health Executive programme
  •  Director, DBA Programme in Health (professional doctorate)
  •  Teaches politics, public policy and health policy

Further information

Calum Paton (2016), The Politics of Health Policy Reform in the UK: England's Permanent Revolution, Palgrave Macmillan

Paton C (November 2006), New Labours State of Health: Political Economy, Public Policy and the NHS, Ashgate: 

"As well as being an academic in politics and health policy, Calum Paton is a perceptive analyst of today's NHS. He also chaired one of the UK's largest NHS hospital Trusts for five years. I believe that his assessment of the NHS is 'spot on' and that his honesty in 'speaking truth to power' is sorely needed." - Dave Crowley, Chief Executive, University Hospital of North Staffs NHS Trust 2001-2005 and Director of Finance 1998-2001 

' At last - a book by a respected political scientist that not only exposes the policy paradoxes at the heart of New Labour's health reforms but also demolishes their very rationale. Those seeking to understand how we have ended up in this sorry mess will find solace here' David J Hunter, Professor of Health Policy and Management School for Health, Durham University, UK. 

C. Paton, (2022), NHS Reform and Health Politics in the UK: Revolution, Counter-Revolution and Covid Crisis Palgrave Macmillan

"Calum Paton is one of our most insightful commentators on the NHS. His latest book details the failure of numerous attempts to introduce a market into the NHS. Paton is not afraid to slaughter a few sacred cows, either. Noticeably this includes the GP’s gatekeeper role which he argues restricts access to specialist outpatient care. He is similarly trenchant in his analysis of failures of leadership at the Department of Health.
A must read." - Philip Hunt, The Rt Hon Lord Hunt of Kings Heath PC, OBE, and former Minister of State

"An insightful and candid account of the 'redisorganisation' from which the English NHS seems unable to escape. Written from the perspective of a seasoned observer of health policy who has also been an NHS insider, this trenchant analysis shows the folly of politicians’ constant meddling with the NHS’s structure. The book is a powerful polemic that pulls no punches. It is essential reading." -David J Hunter, Emeritus Professor of Health Policy and Management, Newcastle University

  • Consultant and adviser to the WHO, the EU and DFID
  • Has advised political parties.
  • Frequent media commentator, national and local.


School of Social Sciences
Chancellor's Building CBA1.039
Keele University
Staffordshire, ST5 5BG
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 734346

Undergraduate and postgraduate enquiries
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 734346