Dr Diane Skåtun, Senior Research Fellow from the Health Economics Research Unit (HERU) at the University of Aberdeen, has been selected by the Health Foundation to be part of its new REAL Research Units programme.
Dr Skatun will join a team led by the Centre for Health Economics (CHE) at the University of York with colleagues from the University of Kent, and the Scottish Policy Research Exchange.
The programme involves setting up two new research units that will design and deliver research programmes aimed at improving the quality of decision making in health and social care.
The York-led Research Unit will receive up to £3.725m of funding over seven years to set up and run the unit which will develop leadership, advocacy and learning to build consensus and develop the infrastructure needed to influence longer-term approaches to policy and funding decisions.
The Health Foundation’s REAL Centre (Research and Economic Analysis for the Long term) provides independent analysis and research to support better long-term decision making in health and social care. Its aim is to help health and social care leaders and policymakers look beyond the short term to understand the implications of their decisions around issues such as funding, investment and training over the next 10 to 15 years.
The York Research Unit will apply economic analysis to the supply of health and social care in England and aim to improve the resilience, sustainability and equity of care provision. The Unit will co-design and deliver a research agenda through close engagement across a variety of health and care sector stakeholders. The Unit will also aim to build capacity to conduct, participate in and interpret economic research on the supply of health and social care.
Nils Gutacker, Professor of Health Economics at the University of York and co-lead for the supply Research Unit, said: “We need to think ahead and tackle problems before they disrupt the supply of health and care. This requires us to think more strategically. Becoming a REAL Research Unit will offer a rare opportunity to engage with a wide range of stakeholders and co-develop an ambitious economic research agenda focused on health and care supply – with tangible outcomes that will have a real influence on how policymakers think about the future.”
Susan Griffin, Professor of Health Economics, University of York and co-lead for the supply Research Unit, said: “The REAL Research Unit represents an ambition to combine the focus and efforts of people across health and social care in order to transform how the long-term outlook is reflected in decisions.”
Anita Charlesworth, Director of the REAL Centre, said: “The setting up of the REAL Research Units is a unique opportunity to build both the research capacity and critical mass needed to deliver on the REAL Centre’s ambitions to improve the quality of decision making in health and social care. The units will be integral to the work of the REAL Centre, enabling collaboration, partnerships and knowledge mobilisation which will translate our work into impact.”
Diane Skåtun, Lead of the Workforce and Organisation of Care Theme in HERU at the University of Aberdeen said “We are delighted to be part of this new supply Research Unit. Over the course of the next seven years we look forward to contributing to research which will provide a real opportunity to shape long term solutions to the supply of health and social care.”