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Health Economics

Health economics are concerned with issues related to efficiency, effectiveness and value in health and healthcare systems and health-affecting behaviours such as smoking.  Using economic techniques in evaluation is important in understanding how efficient and cost effective services are, and where services can be improved.  Evaluation provides practical information to help decide whether a development or service should continue or not.  The teams offer around evaluation is mainly considering quantitative (numbers) data and understanding the context, putting together a logic model or theory of change to plan an evaluation and understand what outcomes are important.  

Here are a number of the completed evaluations:

Cost effectiveness of Alcohol Services in Wirral (Executive Summary)
Cost effectiveness of Alcohol Services in Wirral
Cost effectiveness of Drug Services in Wirral 
Cost effectiveness of Health Action Areas and Health Trainers in Wirral 
Cost effectiveness of Nurse Practitioner Services for homeless residents in Wirral
Cost effectiveness of smoking services May 2015
Cost effectiveness of Weight Management Services (Executive Summary
Cost effectiveness of Weight Management Services

Health economic techniques have a lot of similarities with the Social Return on Investment (SROI) approach for appraising the impact of public sector investments. The SROI approach has taken on a greater importance since the Public Services (Social Value) Act was passed in 2012, which compels public sector bodies to consider social value in procurement, where previously they might have just awarded a contract to the lowest bidder. 

In considering traditional health outcomes like life years gained, alongside outcomes from a broader perspective such as changes in employment, community cohesion, and changes in the environment, we aim to get a genuine idea of the impact of the services that we evaluate.

For a more in-depth look at the concepts and methods behind health economics, follow the link below to a fact-sheet, 
What is Health Economics?

For more information contact us at

More economic evaluation reports that have been produced...

Cost effectiveness of smoking services May 2015
Cost Effectiveness of Stop Smoking Services in Wirral: 2012/13 Update
Economic Evaluation of NHS Wirral’s Lifestyle & Weight Management Service (2009)
Cost effectiveness Smoking Executive Summary
Cost effectiveness Smoking Full Report 

For more information on our research approach, these Health Economics reports, or to find out if we could help you in your area of work, please contact the Wirral Intelligence Service at

Other content
Health economics: evidence resource (September 2017)
Provides a summary of economic evidence underpinning public health interventions.

Health economics: a guide for public health teams (September 2017)
How commissioners and public health teams can calculate return on investment (ROI) and cost effectiveness across public health programmes.