Headshot of Dr Bola Owolabi

Professor Bola Owolabi

GP and Director of the National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme at NHS England

Professor Bola Owolabi (MRCGP, MFPH Hon, FRSPH) is Director of the National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme at NHS England (NHSE). She also works as a GP in the Midlands.

Bola has particular interest in reducing healthcare inequalities through integrated care models, service transformation, and using data insights for quality improvement. She has spearheaded NHSE’s Core20PLUS5 approach to narrowing healthcare inequalities. This approach focuses support on the most deprived ‘Core 20’ percent of the population, ‘plus’ other underserved groups identified through local population health data (such as communities with minority ethnicity), and targets ‘5’ key clinical areas for priority improvement. Versions of the Core20PLUS5 approach are in place for both adults and children & young people.

Internationally, Bola was a member of the Danish Ambassador’s Tour De Health – a ten nation healthcare policy leaders’ summit. Additionally, she was the UK representative on the Commonwealth Fund / Academy Health Tour 2023, exploring equity in national health policy across the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore.

She was previously National Speciality Advisor for Older People and Integrated Person-Centred Care at NHSE, where she led the Anticipatory Care workstream of the National Ageing Well Programme. She collaborated with teams across NHSE and the Department of Health and Social Care as part of the Covid-19 pandemic response. 

Bola is an alumna of Ashridge Executive Education / Hult International Business School and holds a Masters degree with distinction in Leadership (Quality Improvement). She also received an NHS Leadership Academy Award in Executive Healthcare Leadership for Clinicians.

Bola is an Honorary Professor at the Institute of Applied Health Research, College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Birmingham. She is also a Vice President of the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH).