Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research (CCHSR)

The Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research (CCHSR) runs a dynamic programme of collaborative research between RAND Europe and the University of Cambridge, with the aim to inform policy on health services. With members from a variety of backgrounds, including medicine, psychology, statistics, health economics, sociology and public policy, a key strength of the collaboration is its diversity of skills and disciplines.

Particular focuses of CCHSR’s research have included patient experience in primary care, socio-economic variation in cancer outcomes and their link to the quality of health services, the economics of direct access to community based physiotherapy, and alternatives to face-to-face consultations in primary care.

Alongside its research outputs, CCHSR also runs a series of annual lectures discussing topical subjects and questions around health services.


Since its inception in 2009, CCHSR has produced a number of high-quality, externally funded research and evaluation studies concerning the organisation and delivery of healthcare. These have included:


CCHSR has produced a variety of research, analysis and advice to help inform health organisations and policy. Its work has been cited in a number of articles and papers relating to the area, including in Public Health England’s NHS Health Check stock take and action plan. Some specific impacts include:

Learn More about CCHSR Projects

  • Elderly man unloading the dishwasher

    Evaluation of the Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care Older People's Programme

    Researchers assessed changes in hospital utilisation following implementation of case management interventions in two boroughs of south London, in comparison to similar populations elsewhere. They found that the additional investment made through the programme cost more than it saved, possibly through the identification of unmet need.

  • Participants in a Q Lab discussion at the Barbican

    Evaluating the Q Improvement Lab

    RAND Europe and the University of Cambridge tested whether the Q Improvement Lab approach could become an effective, valuable way of developing ideas or interventions to support positive change at multiple levels of the health and care system.

  • Man drawing a heartbeat-style heart

    Exploring the implementation of new cardiovascular risk assessment tools

    As part of the pan-EU project EPIC-CVD, which aims to provide clinicians and policymakers with a range of evidence-based policy options for cost-effective, individualised risk assessment for cardiovascular disease, researchers explored options for the implementation of new cardiovascular risk assessment tools across Europe.

  • UK prescription with tablets and stethoscope

    Evaluating the Optimal Lengths of Prescription Plans

    A review of clinical and economic evidence, followed by economic modelling, suggests that the NHS should rethink its policies and guidance promoting 28-day vs three-month prescription lengths. Three-month prescriptions were associated with lower administrative costs and improved medication adherence.

  • Male GP talks on the phone

    'Telephone First' Not a Panacea for GPs

    GPs can deal with many patients' problems on the phone, but the ‘telephone first’ approach does not suit all patients or practices. It is not a ‘silver-bullet’ for meeting demand and would not necessarily save money or reduce secondary care utilisation.

  • Physiotherapist helping a senior man with weights

    Patient Direct Access to NHS Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

    In the NHS, patients with musculoskeletal conditions currently need to see a GP before visiting a physiotherapist. As part of a larger project for Arthritis Research UK, RAND Europe addresses the question as to whether patient direct access to physiotherapy would be cost-effective.

  • woman in oxygen mask

    "Living with Breathlessness" Seeks Better End-of-Life Care for COPD Patients

    RAND Europe explored whether stakeholders agreed with and anticipated problems implementing the recommendations of the "Living with Breathlessness" research programme to improve end-of-life care for patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

  • Outpatient ear inspection

    When Should NHS 'Move Care into the Community'?

    ‘Moving care into the community’ is a prominent feature of NHS policy. Research by RAND Europe on outpatient clinics indicates when the policy makes sense and how it can be more effective.

  • UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre

    Evaluation Offers Recommendations for UCLH-Macmillan Cancer Partnership

    Through CCHSR, RAND Europe helped to evaluate the University College London Hospitals partnership with Macmillan Cancer Centre, a programme offering patient and carer support, and provided recommendations for its continued improvement.

  • Warehouse employee sneezing while feeling ill, Photo by Chris Joubert, StratfordProductions/Adobe Stock

    The indirect economic and societal burden of seasonal influenza on the UK

    In 2019, absenteeism and presenteeism cost the UK economy almost £92 billion because of ill-health, but the economic burden specific to seasonal influenza is not well understood. Researchers are exploring the indirect economic and societal burden of seasonal influenza, including its effects on the UK healthcare system.