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Sean Manzi

Dr Sean Manzi

Area of study
Mental health
Fellowship level
Year awarded
Host university
University of Exeter Medical School, Institute of Health Research
University of Exeter
Sean is a Research Fellow with the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula (PenARC) based in the PenCHORD operational research team. His role within the PenCHORD team is to apply operational research methods to help with the understanding and improvement of healthcare service provision. The majority of his work is focused in the area of mental health service provision and he coordinates this area of research for PenCHORD. Currently he is working on network-based whole system modelling of mental health services.
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Supporting mental health service improvement using whole systems modelling


Service improvement projects often focus on making changes to one service or area of care. When a change is made to one service or area of care there are implications for other services. Making a change to one service can impact positively and negatively on other services. Mental health trusts are not currently able to determine the impact of service improvement projects across the many services that they provide. This programme of proposed research will aim to understand how network-based whole system models can be used to support service improvement projects in mental health services.


The first stage of this project will survey the types of service improvement measures used by NHS mental health trusts in England. The findings from this study will be used to determine the types of information that need to be available to mental health trusts when assessing the wider system impact of service improvement projects. The applicant has piloted a method for representing large mental health systems, understanding the structure of the system and how the different services interact.

In the second stage of the project, this method of whole system modelling will be extended to create generalised approach for assessing the impact of service improvement projects across all of the different services provided by a mental health trust.

The final stage of this project will scope out, make recommendations and exemplify the most appropriate ways to present whole system model outputs to support decision making.

Research articles

Manzi, S. (2023) Understanding health system operation using networks: A literature review 

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