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Our team of practitioners and associates are amongst the best subject matter experts in the country and at Niche we work hard to ensure that our clients have the best consultancy available.

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James Fitton

Job title: Partner


MA (Oxon)

MSc (Oxon)



James’ emphasis is on service evaluation and modelling-based service strategy, grounded in evidence-based practice and sound business approaches.  James leads our evaluation and redesign work, focussing primarily on mental health. Prior to joining Niche, with whom he has 20 years’ consultancy experience, both throughout England and beyond, James spent 14 years within the NHS, managing mental health and learning disability services in both rural and urban areas of the North West of England.  James has also served as a Director of the National Institute for Mental Health in England, and has served as a Trustee of several local charities, and of a charitable company.

James has taken a particular interest in evidence-based practice, both for clinicians and for managers, with academic work supporting and enhancing the development of best practice.

Qualifications: MSc in Evidence-based Healthcare – University of Oxford

Master of Business Administration – Open University

Membership and Diploma of the Institute of Healthcare Management

MA (Modern Languages) 1st class hons – University of Oxford

James has also been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, in recognition of his work in the development of mental health services.

Extensive experience in evidence-based practice in the management of mental health services

James has worked  extensively with healthcare providers, commissioners, social services, service users, the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, and the independent sector. James’s key skills and experience include:

  • Complex evaluations of services, including:

o National programmes in secure mental health care, including specialist community forensic teams, women’s secure blended services, and peer-based approaches

o The national New Care Models initiative in mental health, including inpatients services for young people, and for people with an eating disorder

o The national Suicide and self-harm prevention programme

o The introduction of specialist 18-25 mental health services, including appraisal of economic risks

o The “Connecting Care” approach to integrated health and social care in community hubs in Wakefield (three year programme)

o Integration of workforce, service development and management systems across four mental health trusts.

o An eleven-site collaborative approach to care planning in the Republic of Ireland

  • Capacity planning and simulation modelling of both inpatient and community mental health services, in a wide variety of services, from Cumbria to Dorset, and from large cities (Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford, Nottingham, South West London) to large rural areas, such as Norfolk, Suffolk, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Warwickshire and Leicestershire
  • Reviews of IAPT services in a wide variety of locations
  • Facilitating workshops and planning days for local teams, including the development of performance frameworks, and clinical strategies

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