Economic Evaluation Online Resource


by Matt Franklin, Sebastian Hinde and Ruby Bhatti


In England, many services that are paid for using taxpayers’ money are decided on and funded by local commissioners such as Local Authorities (LAs) and Integrated Care Systems (ICSs). LAs are responsible for publicly funded social care (e.g., home-based services) and some public health services (e.g., sexual health services). ICSs are responsible for funding most healthcare services in local areas. All local decision makers aim to fund services for public benefit; for example, promoting and protecting health and preventing ill-health, while ensuring ‘value for money’ for taxpayers. Such services and local decision makers often collect data to inform their processes. This data is used to support the services provided for individuals, but also for administrative reasons. This data could be used more often to help inform improvements to current services and funding of new services, but also to support research by universities, for example for the purpose of economic evaluation conducted by university-based research staff. 

What did we aim to achieve? 

We set out to develop an online resource to provide decision makers and the public, who may be new to the concept of economic evaluation, with a guide on what economic evaluation aims to achieve and introduce them to some related concepts and terminology.   

The aim was to create a resource that was interactive, explained why an economic evaluation might be conducted, and describe while exploring the possible approaches.  

How did we do it? 

We used the knowledge and expertise from health economists who have had experience of working with decision makers and the public, to help describe some core aspects and ideas behind the basis of economic evaluation.  We produced a plan for the resource content and then set about ‘storyboarding’ what the resource would look like visually.  We worked with colleagues to transfer the text into a visual web resource, with interactive elements to engage and help the public understand the concept of economic evaluation. 

Patient and the public involvement in the project

The YH ARC Co-Chair for the PPIE Leadership Group for the ARC, Ruby Bhatti, reviewed the web resource and provide valuable advice on the design, wording and user experience.  This is what Ruby had to say about the resource….

“The resource is an excellent tool which has been co-designed with PPIE members from the outset using plain English language to make it more inclusive.   We now can work along side other stakeholders and really engage and understand the purpose of economic evaluation and how this can be used to greatly benefit decisions made around our health and care”.  

How will this resource change health and social care? 

We believe the resource will help those without in-depth health economics expertise to better understand and judge economic evidence.  It will help both the public and decision makers to work alongside researchers to better understand the purpose of economic evaluation, including when it might be useful and so could be used. 

This blog was written by Amanda Lane, Matthew Franklin, Sebastian Hinde and YH ARC Co-Chair for the PPIE Leadership Group for the ARC.  This online resource was funded by NIHR Public Health Research, with in-kind support from the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Yorkshire and Humber’s Health Economics, Evaluation and Equality theme. 

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