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Professor Peter Griffiths PhD, BA, RN, FEANS, FHEA

Chair of Health Services Research

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Professor Peter Griffiths is Chair of Health Services Research and Head of the Health Work research group. He also leads the fundamental care theme of the National Institute for Health Research’s Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) Wessex. His research focusses on the healthcare workforce, and in particular safe and effective nurse staffing.

Despite huge technological advances delivering health care is an essentially human activity, which remains labour intensive. Ensuring we have the right workforce and organisation to deliver high quality and safe care with humanity, now and in the future, is the ultimate aim of my research.

In 2017 he was appointed as a senior investigator for the National Institute for Health Research, a title which recognises the most prominent and prestigious researchers funded by the NIHR and the most outstanding leaders of patient and people-based research within the NIHR Faculty. Recent NIHR funded research includes studies examining associations between nurse staffing, missed vital signs observations and mortality in acute hospital wards and the costs and consequences of the use of the “Safer Nursing Care Tool” to determine nurse-staffing levels.

He led on outcomes data for the international RN4CAST study and worked with the UKs National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to review evidence for its safe staffing programme and has undertaken similar work with NHS Improvement.

He is an adjunct professor at Stockholm’s Karolinska Instutet and a senior fellow at the Centre for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been Executive Editor of the International Journal of Nursing Studies since 2006.

Research interests

Healthcare workforce research
Healthcare quality measurement
Patient outcomes

Research group

Health Work

Affiliate research group

National Institute for Health Research Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (Wessex)

Research project(s)

Implementation, impact and costs of policies for safe staffing in acute trusts

Through a survey and case studies, this study will evaluate the extent to which safe staffing policies following the Francis Inquiry have been implemented, how that varies from place to place, the factors that have shaped implementation, and describe the costs & consequences of implementation.

Identifying nurse-staffing requirements using the Safer Nursing Care Tool. Modelling the costs and consequences of real world application to address variation in patient need on hospital wards

The study will examine how patients' need for nursing care, varies from day to day. This will allow us to see how well staffing matches need and to explore the costs and consequences of different ways of deploying nurses to meet varying need.

Nurse staffing levels, missed vital signs observations and mortality in hospital wards: modelling the consequences and costs of variations in nurse staffing and skill mix

This retrospective observational study uses routinely collected data on ward and shift level nurse staffing, vital signs observations and patient outcomes in 32 general wards in order to explore the relationship between nurse staffing levels and mortality in hospital.

Study of the knowledge, beliefs and behaviours of hospital staff involved in patient monitoring to identify factors affecting performance of scheduled night time observations

Creating Learning Environments for Compassionate Care (CLECC): a feasibility study

A mixed methods study to evaluate the feasibility of an intervention targeted at developing the relational capacity of hospital ward nursing teams. 2014-2016.

CanDo - Developing nursing excellence for inpatients with cancer

Evaluating a major innovation in hospital design: workforce implications and impact on patient and staff experiences of all single room hospital accommodation

This proposed study builds on an existing study (Phase 1), funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which is due to complete Summer 2011. This phase 1 'before' study examines staff and patient experience in the old hospital buildings before the move to all single room accommodation in the new build and was a collaborative project within the Health and Care Infrastructure Research and Innovation Centre (HaCIRIC) at Imperial College, London. Phase 1 provides in-depth research on care processes, costs and staff and patient experiences in the existing accommodation at Pembury and Kent & Sussex hospitals during the period in the run-up to the move to the new hospital (2011) and its immediate aftermath. However, due to EPSRC's reduced funding for HACIRIC's external collaborators our current study cannot continue beyond May 2011, despite excellent progress and feedback in our interim review.

Evaluation of 5 element acupuncture as a model for integrated care in General practice

A long term study into the effects of Five Element Acupuncture in a primary care setting

Nurse staffing & quality of care in UK general practice

The impact of moving to single room hospital accommodation: workforce implications and staff and patients’experience of care in a new physical environment

This study explores the impact of this change in a new hospital build which provides 100% single room inpatient accommodation.

Development project for national Audit for Essence of Care

This project sets out to identify how a national audit could be undertaken and what criteria should be audited.

Nurse Forecasting in Europe

This study, undertaken in collaboration with a large international consortium seeks to explore how the size and composition of the registered nursing workforce affects the quality of care in hospitals.

Impact of Releasing Time to Care (the productive ward ™)

This study, undertaken in collaboration with partners in Canada, seeks to evaluate a nurse-led quality improvement programme which was developed in England by the NHS Institute for Improvement and innovation.

Improving Fundamental Care on Hospital Wards

This is a feasibility study for an intervention aiming to make fundamental care in acute hospitals more person-centred. It pairs the Creating Learning Environments for Compassionate Care (CLECC) intervention with an adapted, co-produced version of the ‘TellUs’ card to support personalisation of fundamental care in hospital.

VANGUARD (Value Added Nursing Gains Advantage in Respiratory Disease)

This project aims to develop and test a nurse sensitive outcome instrument for respiratory nursing.


I manage the fundamental care them of the NIHR CLAHRC (Wessex) and a group of researchers working on projects related to the nursing workforce.

I am executive editor of the International Journal of Nursing Studies



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Outcome measures

Evidence-based practice
Systematic review

European Academy of Nursing Science PhD Summer School


Professor Peter Griffiths
Health Sciences Student Office University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 67/3021

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