He was formerly an expert advisor with KPMG’s Global Centre of Excellence for Health and Life Sciences, a Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund. He was Policy Director of the NHS Confederation for 11 years.
He has commented on government announcements about the English NHS, such as George Osborne's promise to find extra cash for the NHS, and the reconfiguration of cancer services in Staffordshire. In 2014 he is reported as saying " that "there's nothing intrinsically bad about private or public sector provision", and that the Better Care Fund might live up to the advertised savings if it concentrated entirely on moving people out of hospital into residential care.
As of autumn 2017 Edwards is concerned about the condition and funding of the NHS. Edwards stated, “It is indisputable that the NHS is facing a yet another difficult winter. But whether or not it experiences a full-blown crisis will depend largely on unpredictable events, like a sudden outbreak of flu or norovirus. What is clear is that, seven years into austerity, the pressure on the system is immense, making the health service much less resilient to these kinds of events than is comfortable.”
- Barnes, Sopie (7 January 2014). "Nigel Edwards to head Nuffield Trust". Health Service Journal. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- "Nigel Edwards". Nuffield Trust. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- Johnstone, Richard (1 December 2014). "Osborne pledges extra £2bn for NHS". Public Finance. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- "Staffordshire NHS: innovation or backdoor privatisation?". Channel 4 News. 3 July 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- Williams, David (18 December 2014). "Better care fund investment returns 'wildly unrealistic', analysis finds". Local Government Chronicle. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- "HSJ100 2015". Health Service Journal. 23 November 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
- Theresa May tells NHS boss he will be accountable for winter performance The Guardian