Research team

Owen Johnson (Principal Investigator), Jonathan Benn, Mark Gilthorpe, Ciarán McInerney, Josh Granger, Carolyn McCrorie, Ibrahim Habli, Tom Lawton, Rebecca Randell, Naeem Sheikh



Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

University of Bradford

University of York

University of Leeds


Why is this project important?

In most UK NHS hospitals, the operational planning of health service delivery is fragmented across multiple departments and services with major implications for patient safety, efficiency and good patient care.

The UK is making major strategic investments in digital health technologies such as artificial intelligence (A.I.) in the belief this will lead to major improvements in health services delivery. But, there is very limited research on the impact of such large and complex digital interventions in our hospitals.

Bradford Royal Infirmary hosts the first A.I. Command Centre in Europe, designed to help care coordination throughout the hospital.

The effectiveness of such a system and the implications for patient safety, care quality and patient and public opinion are largely unknown in the UK but there are huge opportunities for better, safer care in our hospitals.


What are we doing?

We will evaluate Bradford’s A.I. Command Centre’s influence on quality, safety and organisation at Bradford Royal Infirmary. Our research team is multi-institutional and brings a variety of disciplines to bear on the evaluation, including clinical experts, patient representatives, and experts in safety science, health services research, and computer science.

Our mixed-method approach combines quantitative and qualitative learning to provide both broad and deep insights about the effects of a hospital A.I. Command Centre.

We will use interrupted time-series analysis, process mining, and data-quality assessment frameworks to quantify how patient safety, patient flow and health-data quality are affected. To qualitatively appraise the A.I. Command Centre implementation, we will employ ethnographic methods both within and around the A.I. Command Centre, a longitudinal process evaluation, a cross-sector and cross-industry review of data-driven command and control systems and processes, and consultation with experts and Chief Information Officers in the NHS.


Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement

Patient and public involvement and engagement has a dedicated work-stream in our project evaluating the Command Centre at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

If you would like to get involved in research as a patient or public representative, check out our Centre’s dedicated page for more details.

Patients and public co-producing the research proposal

The Digital Innovation theme consulted patient and public representatives for the design of the Command Centre evaluation. This included a survey of passers-by in the foyer of the Bradford Royal Infirmary, and an audience with the Yorkshire Quality and Safety Research Patient Panel.

These vital co-production activities took place to inform a bid for funding to carry out the proposed evaluation. Not only did the co-produced project receive funding but the funder commended the proposal on its pre-project patient and public involvement.

Patients and public co-producing interview resources

In the early stage of the research, a panel of patient and public representatives was convened. The purpose of meeting was to inform what should be observed in the Command Centre and what questions should be asked of associated staff.

Below are some extracts from an inforgraphic that was produced from the workshop [download infographic (PDF 683 KB)]




Outputs and Impact

  • Publication describing our protocol is in press.


Contact for more information

If you have any questions about our Command Centre research, please contact Owen Johnson via email at