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an Economist Intelligence Unit business healthcare

Helping Health England prioritise effective interventions

March 18th 2009

For policy makers and commissioners in health and social care, choice has never been greater.  For every ailment or issue there are a plethora of interventions that claim to alleviate or cure it.  At the same time, budgets have never been tighter or under more scrutiny.

In this environment, spending limited resources on interventions that do not work is no longer acceptable.  (It never really was acceptable, but before evidence-based medicine there was no reliable way to 'pick winners' in terms of clinical and cost effectiveness.)  The question, therefore, becomes: How to identify and prioritise those interventions in health and social care that do warrant investment, and do so in a systematic, replicable and evidence-based way?

To answer this question, Health England (a Department of Health think tank) commissioned a consortium comprising of Matrix Knowledge Group, Imperial College, Kings College London and Bazian to develop and apply a method for prioritising investments in preventative and social care.  The project supports the white paper Our Health, Our Care, Our Say, and the final outputs - an objective prioritisation process with accompanying tools - will enable policy makers and commissioners to target their limited resources more effectively.