Imperial College London

Alex Bottle

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Reader in Medical Statistics



+44 (0)20 7332 8964robert.bottle




3 Dorset Rise, London EC4Y 8ENCharing Cross HospitalCharing Cross Campus





Many of us rely on our local hospital, but how do we know if it's safe? Every year we expect our healthcare system to treat more patients with more problems and to ever higher standards. We clearly need useable information on performance. The NHS benefits from huge but complex databases, and it's my job to help doctors, managers and patients make sense of them.

On secondment to the public inquiry into the crimes of GP Harold Shipman, I investigated statistical methods that could have been used to spot Shipman earlier. I then combined these with my interest in risk adjustment and experience in handling national administrative data sets to devise the statistical methodology behind Dr Foster Intelligence’s widely used Real Time Monitoring tool. An early warning system of potential problems with care, it correctly identified Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust as having unacceptably high death rates and was a trigger for the national regulator to investigate. I have appeared on UK and Canadian radio to explain hospital performance measurement to the general public.

I teach study design, statistics and critical appraisal of literature on undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses. I also supervise and examine PhD students.

Potential research students interested in quantitative health services research are welcome to contact me informally at


Mamidanna R, Ni Z, Anderson O, et al., 2016, Surgeon Volume and Cancer Esophagectomy, Gastrectomy, and Pancreatectomy: A Population-based Study in England, Annals of Surgery, Vol:263, ISSN:0003-4932, Pages:727-732

Ruiz M, Bottle A, Aylin PP, 2016, Exploring the impact of consultants' experience on hospital mortality by day of the week: a retrospective analysis of hospital episode statistics, Bmj Quality & Safety, Vol:25, ISSN:2044-5415, Pages:337-344

Mamidanna R, Nachiappan S, Bottle A, et al., 2016, Defining the timing and causes of death amongst patients undergoing colorectal resection in England, Colorectal Disease, Vol:18, ISSN:1462-8910, Pages:586-593

Bottle A, Goudie R, Bell D, et al., 2016, Use of hospital services by age and comorbidity after an index heart failure admission in England: an observational study, Bmj Open, Vol:6, ISSN:2044-6055

Cowling TE, Harris M, Watt H, et al., 2016, Access to primary care and the route of emergency admission to hospital: retrospective analysis of national hospital administrative data, Bmj Quality & Safety, Vol:25, ISSN:2044-5415, Pages:432-440

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