PruHealth has commissioned RAND Europe, in partnership with the University of Cambridge, to provide research support Britain’s Healthiest Company (BHC), a competition that rewards companies that have the healthiest employees and work environment. RAND Europe will design and run the surveys, analyse results, and provide customised reports to participating companies. BHC’s central aims are to gain a better understanding of how companies can engage with the wellness of their employees.
The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is considering a revision to its safety classifications for recreational waters, such as lakes, ponds, and beaches. RAND Europe and partners are identifying the health risks associated with varying degrees of pollution in different bodies of water.
To help frame the debate on future EU membership in the context of UK health research, RAND Europe is assessing the benefits and burdens of membership. This research, for the Department of Health, will not only focus on funding, but also look at other aspects such as research environment, network effects, and knowledge spillovers. The project will include a series of scenario-based workshops to explore future impact of EU funding.
The Public Health Responsibility Deal (RD) aims to bring together public sector, academic, commercial and voluntary organisations in the UK in public-private partnerships to help meet public health goals. Partners pledge to change their services or products in ways that are positive for consumers’ health. RAND Europe is contributing to an evaluation of the RD by examining international examples of similar interventions, from which learning can be drawn for the RD.
The European Commission Communication on Combating HIV/AIDS brought together interested parties from across the European region to draw up a set of targets and measures to be implemented. RAND Europe and Van Dijk Management Consultants are evaluating the second Communication and accompanying action plan to assess its implementation and help the Commission formulate a new policy framework.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) provides independent scientific advice and communication on risks associated with food and feed safety, including animal health and welfare, plant protection and plant health and nutrition. RAND Europe is evaluating EFSA's publications strategy to map stakeholders' needs for EFSA publications, assess how they are currently used and measure the level of stakeholder satisfaction with these publications.
To better understand the extent to which alcoholic beverage labelling is implemented in practice, and to assess the effectiveness of health-related information conveyed and presented on products, RAND Europe is working with partners at GfK to conduct fieldwork across EU Member States to examine beverage packaging and inform how labelling could be improved.
The Better Obstetrics in Rural Nigeria (BORN) Study examines the effectiveness of the Nigerian Midwives Service Scheme (MSS) with respect to reducing maternal and infant mortality in rural, underserved areas of the country. BORN's RAND-led research team pairs experts from the RAND Health, RAND Labor and Population, and RAND Europe with those leading the field in Nigeria to evaluate the program.
The Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership formed to support drug-discovery through pre-competitive structural biology research. The SGC has commissioned RAND Europe and Canada's Institute on Governance to provide an evaluation of its unique, open-access model, to understand the nature and diversity of its benefits for partnering organisations as well as for the wider research community.
Investigating Children's Exposure to Food and Drink Marketing Online
Food and drink marketing is known to influence children’s preferences and to impact on subsequent behaviour, such as use of alcohol. With the rise in the use of online media there is a need to better understand the level to which children are exposed to marketing online. RAND Europe is working with year 9 pupils in Cambridge to document exposure to food and drink marketing online. This project is a first step towards informing the possible development of future regulatory approaches.
‘Moving care into the community’ is a prominent feature of NHS policy. But when does it make sense, and when are services better provided in hospitals? RAND Europe is examining this question as it relates to outpatient clinics by carrying out a set of case studies looking at different types of intervention designed to improve effectiveness or efficiency of outpatient referrals. The project team will also examine innovative approaches to delivering services at the primary-secondary interface in a set of high income countries.
Identifying the Research Landscape for Diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa
The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership asked RAND Europe and Bairds CMC to examine the current research landscape for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. RAND Europe is conducting desk research to identify active researchers and institutions, national strategies and current public funding commitments in these disease areas. Bairds CMC is responsible for in-country, stakeholder interviews.
Examining the Nutritional, Environmental Trade-Offs Among Diets
RAND Europe, as part of a consortium with the University of Reading and ADAS, was commissioned by Dairyco and the Dairy Council to examine the trade-offs between the nutritional and environmental impacts of dairy diets. The aim is to compare the impacts of the dairy diet with various ideal type diets such as plant-based and Eatwell Plate diets.
Measures to reduce the length of stay are among the main approaches to enhance a hospital's operational efficiency. RAND Europe is conducting a rapid review of the evidence of the effectiveness and efficiency of initiatives for reducing length of stay in hospital. The project will also examine the impact of these initiatives on the quality of care and patient experiences.
The Department of Health in England has set a target to achieve procurement savings of £1.2 billion among its efficiency savings for 2014/15. Funded by the NIHR Health Services & Delivery Research Programme, RAND Europe is identifying models of best practice for procurement and supply chain management relevant to the NHS. The project will build on a review of the literature from industry and academia, key informant interviews with NHS stakeholders, and draw from experiences in other countries.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) accounts for one death every 20 minutes in England and Wales. RAND Europe and the University of Cambridge are conducting a study on "Living with Breathlessness" to improve the end-of-life care strategy for patients with advanced COPD: one which is based on a recognition of the slow relentless progression of non-malignant disease, its effect on patients and care-givers, and their stated care preferences.
When treating patients for Hepatitis-C, physicians may be influenced by many factors: their prior experience, the health and social care systems more broadly, or clinical, social and behavioural, or demographic factors. To better understand this decision-making process, GlaxoSmithKline commissioned RAND Europe to investigate the comparative influence and importance of specific factors and combinations of factors and their trade-offs.
Because cancer patients often receive poorly organised and fragmented care, University College Hospital Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support have established a new cancer centre. RAND Europe and the University of Cambridge Health Services Research Group are evaluating the centre's improvements in the cancer care pathway, using patient experience measurement alongside other methods, and developing a sustainable quality improvement environment across the partnership.
RAND Europe is one of five partners in the Policy Innovation Research Unit (PIRU), which brings together leading health and social care expertise to improve evidence-based policy-making and its implementation across the National Health Service, social care and public health. The Department of Health has funded PIRU with the goal of strengthening early policy development by exploiting the best routine data and by subjecting initiatives to speedy, thorough evaluation.
The performance of health systems is a key determinant of the inclusiveness of economic growth. Exclusionary, poor quality health care worsens impoverishment, while inclusive health care redistributes the benefits of growth toward the poor and ill. With Kenya and Tanzania as case studies, RAND Europe is exploring the extent to which unexploited potential synergies between industrial development and health systems can strengthen and contribute to faster and more inclusive growth.
At a time of reduced public spending there is interest in funding public services on a 'payment by results' basis under which the government pays for services only if and when they achieve defined outcomes. The Department of Health has commissioned a consortium that includes RAND Europe to conduct an independent evaluation of eight drug and alcohol recovery payment by results pilots. The research is assessing whether and how the new funding approach encourages the development of the market for provision of services in these areas and more effective recovery programmes.
Expert Input Sought to Help Develop UK Drug Policy
To help it develop a better drug policy, the UK Drug Policy Commission asked RAND Europe to conduct a modified Delphi exercise with an international panel of drug policy experts. The Delphi method uses ranking, scoring and feedback to arrive at a consensus on a set of issues. This project will consider the actors, principles, processes and structures that may facilitate effective drug policy.
Examining Health and Safety in the European Workplace
RAND Europe is currently undertaking an analysis of the European Enterprise Survey (ESENER) on health and safety in the European workplace, for the European Health and Safety Agency (EU-OSHA). This work aims to understand the factors associated with the effective management of general occupational health and safety, as well as the specific management of psychosocial risks in enterprises.
Can Survey Data Help to Improve Patient Experience in Primary Care?
To understand how patient experience surveys can be used to improve care, a five-year programme will investigate the extent to which practice-based results mask individual variation between doctors, and how practices respond to scores which show a need for improvement. The research, which builds on ongoing work to validate the English GP Patient Survey, will include studies to help understand low scores among ethnic minorities and focus on continuity of care and doctor-patient communication.
The Department of Health surveys 5 million patients annually through its GP Patient Surveys. RAND Europe and CCHSR are examining the validity and reliability of the survey, analysing experiences of different population groups, and exploring the need for case mix adjustment. The team is also investigating the responses of patients and practices to the survey and identifying how the survey addresses relevant experiences of young people and offenders in the prison/probation service.