Ellie Scrivens, director of the Health Care Standards Unit at Keele University, has died.
Born in Solihull in 1954, Professor Scrivens was educated at Malvern Hall school, the University of Exeter and the London School of Economics, where her PhD examined plans to give cash grants that allowed people to purchase their own social care.
After getting a job as lecturer in social administration and health services research at London University in 1979, she became lecturer in public sector management at the London Business School (1985-91), and researcher and then senior researcher in the health services development research unit at the University of Bath (1991-93).
It was from here that she moved to Keele as professor of health policy, where she worked from 1993 until illness forced her to retire last year.
In her first book, Accreditation (1995), Professor Scrivens drew on her encyclopaedic knowledge of international healthcare to assess whether accreditation is an effective form of consumer protection.
Throughout her career, she combined research with active involvement in healthcare providers and bodies responsible for accreditation, ranging from the College of Speech Therapists and Trent Cancer Services to the Scottish Prison Service and the French Government.
She acted as chair of the Shropshire and Staffordshire Strategic Health Authority until it was wound up in 2006 and then became a non-executive director of North Staffordshire Primary Care Trust.
In 1999, Professor Scrivens set up the NHS Controls Assurance Support Unit, which was given extended powers and renamed the Health Care Standards Unit in 2004. She provided a theoretical analysis of such issues in her second book, Quality, Risk and Control in Healthcare (2005).
Like Accreditation, it was given a prestigious Baxter Award by the European Health Management Association.
Katherine Birch, senior lecturer and Medici Fellow in the School of Public Policy and Professional Practice at Keele University, remembered Professor Scrivens as a woman of "incredible intellect" and "one of the most exceptional people I have ever known".
She said: "Everyone that I have spoken to likens our time working in the unit to that of a family ... Ellie brought together a disparate band of people from different backgrounds with different skills, gave us a chance to develop, provided us with challenges and opportunities and supported every single one of us to achieve the best that we could."
She died of a brain tumour on 19 October and is survived by her husband David Rogers and their children Kester and Justine.