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NIHR Policy Research Programme Project

Posted on 24 June 2021

Researchers awarded funding


University of York researchers have been awarded funding by the NIHR Policy Research Programme for a project on 'Methods for reducing health inequalities through pricing of health services'. The project started in February 2021 and runs until January 2024.

The more disadvantaged a community is, the worse the health of people living there tends to be. This is known as ‘the health gap’, and it is widely seen as unfair by the public. The English NHS payment system is an important policy lever through which commissioners can influence the provision of healthcare. Although NHS resources are allocated using formulae that aim to reflect healthcare need and existing inequalities (e.g. Clinical Commissioning Group budgets and general practice capitation payments), the current NHS payment system does not set explicit incentives for providers to act to reduce inequalities in patients’ health over their lifetimes.

The aim of this project is to develop methods to help NHS commissioners decide how to pay healthcare providers so that people in more disadvantaged communities benefit more from the health service. The project is led by Dr Nils Gutacker (CHE) and Prof Tim Doran (Department of Health Sciences), who work with colleagues in CHE (Simon Walker, Anne Mason, David Glynn, Luis Fernandes, Tim Glover) and the Department of Economics and Related Studies (Luigi Siciliani).

To guide this project, the team will work with patient representatives, services providers and commissioners of GP and hospital care services in England.

Please contact Nils Gutacker or Tim Doran for further information.