The University of Southampton
Health Sciences
(023) 8059 7877

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 within the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton. 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.

I'm interested in the impact of change in the organisation, management and composition of the healthcare workforce on both patient and staff outcomes. My focus is on the nursing workforce and I currently lead the fundamental care theme for the national Institute of Health Research Collaborations for Applied Health Research and care (Wessex). My recent work includes the RN4CAST study: an international study undertaken by a consortium of 13 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the united States, which worked with professor Linda Aiken to replicate and extend her seminal studies on the link between nurse staffing and mortality and reviews of evidence to support the development of guidance on safe staffing levels by NICE.

I am currently working on a number of studies exploring the relationship between nurse staffing levels and outcomes and methods to determine the staffing requirements on hospital wards. My academic background is in nursing and social psychology. Before taking up the chair of health services research at Southampton I was, from 2006 to 2010, Director of England's National Nursing Research Unit, where I remain a visiting professor. I am Executive Editor of the International Journal of Nursing Studies.






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)

VANGUARD (Value Added Nursing Gains Advantage in Respiratory Disease)

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

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 accomodation

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.


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







Book Chapter



Working Paper


Outcome measures

Evidence-based practice
Systematic review

European Academy of Nursing Science PhD Summer School


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

Room Number:67/E4015

Telephone:(023) 8059 7877

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