Dr Nicholas Hicks




Current Roles

a) Founder and Chief Executive of COBIC Ltd and OptiMedis-COBIC UK Ltd

b) Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Nuffield Department of Primary Health Care Sciences, University of Oxford and Associate Fellow, Green Templeton College, Oxford;


Main research interests

Outcome measurement, population health management, inequalities, integrated care, complex systems.

Nick is a medically qualified public health physician specialises in population health management, the design and development of integrated care systems and the evaluation of complex systems with a particular emphasis on population health and outcomes.

He also leads the Management in Medicine programme at Green Templeton College, Oxford a programme for future leaders focussed on understanding how to work in, influence and shape complex systems.

Nick has a track-record of designing and delivering innovation at both strategic and operational level, working on high profile policies and projects for Department of Health, NHS, Local Government and then Department for Education.

For example,

  • he was the lead author of the National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease which became an exemplar for the integration evidence and policy,
  • as the doctor in the Department of Health’s Strategy Unit he was a major contributor to the inequalities policies in the NHS Plan that, when implemented lead to a reduction in inequalities in life expectancy between 2003 and 2010,
  • as DPH in Milton Keynes, he pioneered the role of a jointly appointed DPH, developing and leading multi-agency work with residents that has been credited by the Audit Commission as producing demonstrable improvements in health in Milton Keynes, particularly in its poorest communities. The Audit Commission singled out the impact of the role he had created.
  • as Chief Executive of Milton Keynes, he led a complex programme over three years that transformed objective and independent measures of patients’ experiences of the NHS in Milton Keynes from the worst in the SHA to the best. Significant elements of the programme included a) improving the quality of primary care b) deepening patient involvement across the health economy and c) the use of innovative approaches to commissioning including the introduction of contracts to incentivise outcomes and promote integrated care.  As a result, new integrated care partnerships were created and the public’s experiences of the NHS were measurably improved.
  • As Chief Executive of OptiMedis-COBIC UK, in 2019 he led a consortium introducing a new integrator function into a local health care system that was awarded the HSJ 2019 Leadership Initiative of the Year
  • From 2020-2023 he was recruited to Public Health England and the UK Health Security Agency as the Public Health Strategy Advisor to Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor, UK Health Security Agency.


Nick is the author of more than 50 peer reviewed publications, many in major journals on multiple topics ranging from screening, inequalities, coronary heart disease, immunisation, evaluation and effectiveness of public health interventions.


health outcomes healthy populations

The 6 essential questions you need to ask health economists when their analysis includes health outcomes.

A look at the Economic Lens articles by Economics By Design shows that concepts such as ‘effectiveness’, ‘efficiency’, ‘productivity’ and ‘value’ ...

Economics By Design