Prof. Jane Wills

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Professor of Health Promotion

  • Email:
  • Telephone:
    020 7815 7996
  • School/Division:
    Health and Social Care / Primary and Social Care

Jane Wills is Professor of Health Promotion in the department of primary and social care. Having graduated in History from the University of York, Jane then spent some years researching the political education and literacy of young people and later she became an education adviser on personal, social and health education. 

She has over 25 years of experience of teaching public health and health promotion in the UK at University of West of England and LSBU. She is also the author of the best-selling textbook 'Foundations for Health Promotion', which is translated into five languages and is on the core curriculum of medicine, nursing and health studies in many countries. 

Jane has been influential in workforce development for health promotion and health improvement and has been Chair of the UK Academic Network for Health Promotion.

Professor Wills is a visiting lecturer at many international universities and has worked with regional and government agencies in Africa to develop training for lay health workers. She has also worked on plans for sustainable behaviour, change approaches in relation to paraffin safety, food growing, sanitation and physical activity, as well as investigating good practice and the transferability and scalability of innovation in public health.

She is Director of the new Centre for Applied Research in Improvement and Innovation in Health and Social Care.

Jane's teaching interests over the last 25 years have been in health policy, health promotion and public health. She is a trained counsellor and also teaches motivational interviewing and counselling skills to health care professionals. Since the mid-1990s, she has led two major curriculum reviews at LSBU whilst maintaining the discipline of health promotion. She has also held numerous External Examiner and independent assessor posts. 

As a qualified teacher, she has a strong interest in pedagogy and student development, regularly publishing with students.  She is a prolific academic author having established an accessible and authoritative style for health textbooks that aim to develop confident independent learners. Jane also has several doctoral students working on a range of topics including health literacy, workplace health and the settings approach to health promotion.

Part of Jane's current funded research focuses on workforce development and innovations in new roles including Health Trainers and registered Public Health practitioners. 

Jane is also working on workplace health projects including the contribution of the NHS workplace to the health and wellbeing of staff. Building on a strong track record in the School of Health and Social Care for working with local partners and communities, the other major part of Jane's research is project and service evaluations. These include a scoping and needs assessment to inform a local obesity strategy and an evaluation of the Troubled Families programme.

Most recent publications

Sykes, SM and Wills, JD Challenges and opportunities in building critical health literacy. Global Health Promotion, DOI 10.1177/1757975918789352

Wills, JD and Kelly, M Systematic review: What works to address obesity in nurses. Occupational Medicine, 68. 228-238. DOI

Kyle, RG and Wills, JD and Mahoney, C and Hoyle, L and Kelly, M and Atherton, IM Obesity prevalence among healthcare professionals in England: a cross-sectional study using the health survey for England. BMJ Open, 7. DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018498

Kelly, M and Wills, JD and Sykes, SM Do nurses' personal health behaviours impact on their health promotion practice: a systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 76. 62-77. DOI 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2017.08.008

Wills, JD and Kelly, M Investigating the attitudes of nurses who are obese.. Nursing Standard, 31. 42-48. DOI 10.7748/ns.2017.e10645

Sykes, SM and Wills, JD and Popple, K The Role of Community Development in Building Critical Health Literacy. Community Development Journal, DOI

Wills, JD and Groene, O and Rowlands, G and Rudd, R The health literacy dyad: the contribution of future GPs in England. Education for primary care : an official publication of the Association of Course Organisers, National Association of GP Tutors, World Organisation of Family Doctors, DOI 10.1080/14739879.2017.1327332

Kelly, M and Wills, JD and Jester, R and Speller, V Should nurses be role models for healthy lifestyles? Results from a modified Delphi study.. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 73. 665-678. DOI 10.1111/jan.13173

Wills, JD and Kelly, M What works to encourage student nurses to adopt healthier lifestyles? Findings from an intervention study.. Nurse Education Today, 48. 180-184. DOI

Wills, JD and Liu, T How is rising obesity tackled in China and Europe?. European Journal of Oriental Medicine, 8.

More publications at LSBU Research Open

Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health

Member of the editorial board of Critical Public Health (previous editor).

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