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This project will give the student an opportunity to develop skills in quantitative research using large databases. The candidate will be supervised by health economists and clinical informatics academic GPs within the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences.

The dramatic increase in the utilisation of emergency care services has raised concerns about its impact on public finances and finite healthcare resources. A significant proportion of this growth has been caused by an increase in inappropriate emergency care attendances.

In the UK, as elsewhere, policy makers have promoted a number of interventions to reverse this trend. However, there is little empirical evidence supporting their effectiveness and cost-effectiveness in relation to paediatric emergency care. Over the last few decades, a substantial increase in hospital emergency care admissions has been observed across OECD countries (Berchet, 2015). The growth in demand has been particularly acute in those countries where there is no payment at the point of care.

The NHS ten 10-year plan explicitly states an objective “to reduce the growth in demand for care through better integration and prevention.” It seems perverse that more community care is presented as the solution to growing demand when there is scant empirical evidence of its effectiveness. It is important that policy makers can justify these strategies through evidence rather than intuition as the latter is insufficient for setting public policy.

In this project, the successful candidate will use large administrative data in the UK to study the use of emergency admissions by children and the role of community care services for children. 

Who are we looking for?

We look for candidates with economics background.



Berchet, C. (2015), "Emergency Care Services: Trends, Drivers and Interventions to Manage the Demand", OECD Health Working Papers, No. 83, OECD Publishing, Paris.


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