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  • Led by a team from Oxford Population Health (the Nuffield Department of Population Health) in collaboration with the Department of Economics, the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, and the Centre for Experimental Social Sciences at the University of Oxford, and the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York. 

  • The Oxford research unit will transform the understanding of demand for health and social care, using individual-level data to analyse how health evolves and interacts with families’ socioeconomic lives and environment. 

  • A seven-year programme of research starting in 2023.

Demand for health and social care in the UK continues to grow year-on-year. However, our understanding of this demand is limited to static models and aggregate trends, which restrict effective policy planning and action. 

The Oxford research unit, funded through the Health Foundation’s REAL Centre and led by a team at the University of Oxford, will look to transform understanding of demand for health and social care by analysing the determinants that drive it: demographics, technological change, public expectations and income growth.  

The unit’s research will address three themes. The first will identify the determinants and long-running drivers of demand for health and social care, and how these evolve over time. This includes the changing patterns of disease and disease burden, demographic factors, income growth and distribution, and the impact of technological changes. 

The second theme is the sustainability and distribution of demand for health and social care. The unit will disaggregate need, use and treatment gaps by geographical area, and identify demand that is amenable to policy changes. 

The third theme is the economics of demand and mechanisms for dealing with uncertainty through social insurance. The unit will look at aggregate (for example the COVID-19 pandemic) and individual (for example work-limiting health conditions) health shocks. 

Dedicated research staff will be deployed to the unit, and it will benefit from a wide range of expertise from research partners, with engagement with stakeholders at each stage to understand the context and barriers to policy change. 

Contact details

For more information about this project, please contact Professor Philip Clarke, Director of the Health Economics Research Centre.

About the programme

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