HEDS is part of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield. We undertake research, teaching, training and consultancy on all aspects of health related decision science, with a particular emphasis on health economics, HTA and evidence synthesis.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

#Supervisionaires at HEDS

HEDS Colleagues Dr Suzy Paisley (top left), Dr Katy Cooper (bottom right) and Professor Aki Tsuchiya (top right) are among ScHARR supervisors and professional services staff have been recognised by their doctoral students in a new initiative led by the Think Ahead team at the University of Sheffield. They led a project called #SuperVisionaries to find out about and share examples of good supervision and its impact on doctoral researchers. The Think Ahead team asked all the doctoral students at the University of Sheffield to tell them who was doing a great job and making a difference, and received over 200 responses!
Dr Guccione who was involved in the project commented, “It’s important to recognise that there are reasons a great supervisor may not have been recognised, and that there are excellent supervisors in ScHARR who are not featured here. Awareness of the project might not be uniform across all PGRs, or perhaps student-supervisor teams are in the regular habit of saying thanks to each other personally, rather than anonymously.”
So whilst there will be other examples of excellence in supervision that were not put forward for this project, it is great to see so many supervisors and professional services staff recognised for their hard work in supporting students.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Research to Support Policy - Funding Success for HEDS

Image of NIHR Logo and 70 years of the NHS

HEDS have renewed their collaboration with The Centre for Health Economics (CHE) as part of The National Institute for Health Research new set of 13 NIHR Policy Research Units to undertake research to inform decision-making by government and arms-length bodies.
The £65 million investment over five years will ensure that the government and arms-length bodies have the best possible information and evidence available when making policy decisions about health and social care.

The 13 new NIHR units will provide both a long-term resource for policy research and a rapid-response service to provide evidence for emerging policy needs. The units, which are considered to be an exemplar of good practice in government, will also offer advice to policy makers and analysts on the evidence base and options for policy development.

The units will cover a range of specialisms and conditions, such as behavioural science, adult social care, older people and frailty, and cancer awareness, screening and early diagnosis.
Each university-based NIHR Policy Research Unit will host a multidisciplinary team of researchers from collaborating institutions, to create a critical mass of experts for research in priority areas for health and social care policy.

The units will work closely with the Department of Health and Social Care to determine priorities and provide evidence directly to the Secretary of State for Health, government departments and arms-length bodies, such as NHS England and Public Health England.

Examples of the types of research topics the units may undertake include how behavioural science can help maximise the impact of clinical consultations; how outcomes of social care services vary for different groups of people; and how social inequalities affect the uptake of cancer screening.
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health and Social Care, said:
Patients and the public deserve a healthcare system that is informed by the latest research and evidence. The NIHR Policy Research Units will make sure that Government decisions affecting our health and care are robust and evidence based.”

These new units, which will begin work in January 2019, join two existing units in mental health and obesity.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Latest publications from HEDS for June

Image of the front cover of BMC Public Health Journal
© Springer Nature                      
Bates, S., Holmes, J., Gavens, L., De Matos, E. G., Li, J., Ward, B., Hooper, L., Dixon, S. & Buykx, P. (2018) Awareness of alcohol as a risk factor for cancer is associated with public support for alcohol policies. BMC Public Health. [Online] 18 (1),

Bermejo, I., Ren, S., Simpson, E., Clowes, M., Scott, D. L., Young, A. & Stevenson, M. (2018) Sarilumab for Previously-Treated Moderate or Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis: An Evidence Review Group Perspective of a NICE Single Technology Appraisal. Pharmacoeconomics. [Online]  Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29882210.

Devlin, N., Brazier, J., Pickard, A. S. & Stolk, E. (2018) 3L, 5L, What the L? A NICE Conundrum. PharmacoEconomics. [Online] 36637–640.

Fuller, G. W., Goodacre, S., Keating, S., Perkins, G., Ward, M., Rosser, A., Gunson, I., Miller, J., Bradburn, M., Thokala, P., Harris, T., Carson, A., Marsh, M. & Cooper, C. (2018) The ACUTE (Ambulance CPAP: Use, Treatment effect and economics) feasibility study: a pilot randomised controlled trial of prehospital CPAP for acute respiratory failure. Pilot and Feasibility Studies. [Online] 4 (1), . 
Image of Value in Health Journal

Gray, L. A., Wailoo, A. & Hernandez, M. (n.d.) Mapping the FACT-B instrument to EQ-5D-3L in Patients with Breast Cancer using Adjusted Limited Dependent Variable Mixture Models vs Response Mapping. Value in Health. http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/131975/

Hernandez-Villafuerte, K., Fischer, A. & Latimer, N. R. (n.d.) Challenges and Methodologies Using Progression Free Survival As A Surrogate For Overall Survival In Oncology. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care. http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/130810/

Keetharuth, D., Taylor Buck, E., Acquadro, C., Conway, K., Connell, J., Barkham, M., Carlton, J., Ricketts, T. N., Barber, R. & Brazier, J. E. (n.d.) Integrating qualitative and quantitative data in the development of outcome measures: the case of the Recovering Quality of Life (ReQoL) measures in mental health populations. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. (Special Issue ‘Mental Health and Social Care and Social Interventions’), . https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29949892

Image of The European Journal of Health Economics journal
© Springer
Kharroubi, S. & Rowen, D. L. (n.d.) Valuation of preference-based measures: Can existing preference data be used to select a smaller sample of health states? The European Journal of Health Economics. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29980950

Lawton, K., Royals, K., Carson-Chahhoud, K. V, Campbell, F. & Smith, B. J. (2018) Nurse-led versus doctor-led care for bronchiectasis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. [Online] 2018 (6), . https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29926473

Pennington, R. M., Collins, B., Leigh, S., Martin, A. P., Owen, L., Fischer, A., Sumnall, H. & Bates, G. (2018) The cost-effectiveness of seven behavioural interventions to prevent drug misuse in vulnerable populations. International Journal of Drug Policy. [Online] 5742–50.  Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395918300987

Rowen, D. L., Labeit, A., Stevens, K., Elliot, J., Mulhern, B., Carlton, J., Basarir, H. & Brazier, J. (n.d.) Estimating a preference-based single index measuring the quality of life impact of self-management for diabetes. Medical Decision Making. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29957107

Image of front cover of PharmacoEconomics
© Adis
Stevens, J. W. (n.d.) Using evidence from randomised controlled trials in economic models: What information is relevant and is there a minimum amount of sample data required to make decisions? PharmacoEconomics. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29926358

Tappenden, P., Carroll, C., Stevens, J., Simpson, E., Thokala, P., Wong, R., Wright, J. & Auer, R. (2018) Ibrutinib for Treating Waldenstr├Âm’s Macroglobulinaemia: An Evidence Review Group Perspective of a NICE Single Technology Appraisal. PharmacoEconomics. [Online] 1–12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29951793

Tes, D., Kratkiewicz, K., Aber, A., Horton, L., Zafar, M., Arafat, N., Fatima, A. & Avanaki, M. R. N. (2018) Development and Optimization of a Fluorescent Imaging System to Detect Amyloid-╬▓ Proteins: Phantom Study. Biomedical Engineering and Computational Biology. [Online] 9117959721878108–117959721878108. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29977121

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Dr Chris Carroll announced as HEDS new Deputy Director

Image of Dr Chris Carroll
Dr Chris Carroll
Dr Chris Carroll has taken over from Professor Eva Kaltenthaler as HEDS Deputy Director. Professor Kaltenthaler retired at the end of June after working for ScHARR for over two decades. Dr Carroll will support HEDS Director Dr Phil Shackley and act as Director in Dr Shackley's absence. 

Dr Carroll said: "I look forward to working with Phil and the rest of the section's management team".

Dr Carroll joined ScHARR in 2004 and was appointed as a Research Fellow in 2007. In early 2011 he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and Course Director of the MSc in International Health Technology Assessment, Pricing and Reimbursement (iHTA). In 2014 Dr Carroll was promoted to Reader and made a University Senate Fellow for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

Dr Carroll stepped down as Course Director of the iHTA programme in mid-2015 and returned to working for the ScHARR Technology Assessment Group (TAG) conducting appraisals for NICE. Since 2017 he has also been the Lead for the systematic reviewers in HEDS.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Economic evaluation in health care - A series of short animations on the topic

Our own Dr Nick Latimer created a series of animations on the topic of Economic evaluation in health care. The series of five videos have been very popular on his Youtube Channel can be viewed below and on our ScHARR Library YouTube Channel.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Dr Matt Franklin announced as our new Director of our Masters in Health Economics and Decision Modelling (HEDM)

Image of Dr Matt Franklin
Dr Matt Franklin
Dr Matt Franklin has taken over as Director of our Masters in Health Economics and Decision Modelling (HEDM).

The MSc in Health Economics and Decision Modelling (HEDM) is one of a suite of 3 MSc's that the University of Sheffield offer in the field of health economics, decision modelling and health technology assessment (HTA), the others being the on-line MSc in International Health Technology Assessment, Pricing and Reimbursement and the more econometrics-focused MSc in Economics and Health Economics. 

Dr Franklin said: "I am delighted to take over from Dr John Stevens as Director of the HEDM Masters course from the 1st July 2018. John has done an excellent job in the role over the last 3 years and I hope to maintain his high and impressive standards as I take over the role. As an alumni of the Economic and Health Economics (E&HE) Masters course (Director then and now being Prof Aki Tsuchiya - someone who has influenced my career as a health economist more than I think she knows), which I completed almost 10 years ago."

"I remember my time as a Masters student at the University of Sheffield and I hope to use this experience to my advantage. I will be looking to apply my 10 years of health economic experience in an alumni, research, and teaching capacity to the Director of HEDM role. If I can serve the staff and students associated with the HEDM course as well as those associated with the E&HE course served me as a student 10 years ago, this is the best for which I could hope."

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Cochrane Collaboration Issue 6, 2018…

….is complete.  The website lists reviews and protocols.  Of note are……
  • Botulinum toxins for the prevention of migraine in adults
  • Workplace interventions for reducing sitting at work
  • Parenteral opioids for maternal pain management in labour
  • Interleukin inhibitors for psoriatic arthritis
  • Stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis
  • Paracetamol, NSAIDS and opioid analgesics for chronic low back pain: a network meta‐analysis

Monday, 2 July 2018

New Project - Colorectal Cancer risk scores to improve efficiency of screening programme

CRC risk scores to improve efficiency of screening programme  
Sponsor: Bowel Cancer UK - starting 1st July 2018

Survival from colorectal cancer (CRC) is strongly related to stage at diagnosis. There is overwhelming evidence that national screening programmes reduce incidence and mortality. Stratified screening could potentially provide a way of improving the efficiency of screening by targeting limited resources to those at highest risk. We have previously published a systematic review of risk prediction models for CRC and externally validated those including phenotypic variables in UK Biobank.

To assess the potential impact of introducing risk stratification using phenotypic or genomic information into the current English bowel screening programme.

The research includes three Work Packages (WP): WP1- An update of our previous systematic review to identify risk models which include genomic information to predict the future incidence of colorectal cancer; WP2- External validation of the risk models identified in WP1 in the UK Biobank cohort; and WP3- Impact and cost-effectiveness analysis to model the potential for population health and impact on the health service if risk stratification using the best performing phenotypic or genomic risk model was introduced into the English bowel screening programme.

Expected outcomes
This work will inform decisions around future stratification of CRC screening programmes using both phenotypic and/or genomic information.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Professor Eva Kaltenthaler's Retirement

One of HEDS longest serving colleagues Professor Eva Kaltenthaler has today retired from The University of Sheffield. Eva's expertise is in the systematic reviewing of clinical effectiveness evidence and how this is used in decision making. Professor Kaltenthaler undertook systematic reviews for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Health Technology Assessment Programme on behalf of a range of policy makers, including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Eva's work included reviews on many topics such as: computerised cognitive behaviour therapy and sexual health interventions for people with severe mental illness.

Director of HEDS, Dr Phil Shackley said" "I first had the pleasure of getting to know Eva when we worked together on a Health Technology Assessment report on computerised cognitive behaviour therapy for depression and anxiety back in 2001.  In the intervening years Eva has gone from being a Research Fellow to establishing herself as a respected Professor of Health Technology Assessment."
Image of Professor Eva Kaltenthaler
Professor Eva Kaltenthaler'

Dr Shackley added: "Eva has contributed hugely to HEDS and the School more generally, not only through her academic endeavours, but also through her other activities such as Chairing the ScHARR Athena SWAN Self Assessment Group and being the Director of the School's Equality and Diversity Group.  I greatly appreciate the support she has given me in my role as HEDS Section Director, and I wish her all the very best for her retirement."

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

New Report - Providing Smoking Cessation For Patients in Hospital Will Save Lives and Money

Image of Dr Duncan Gillespie
Dr Duncan Gillespie

A major new report has been released by the Royal College of Physicians calls for a radical change in the way the NHS treats smoking, by providing opt-out cessation services as a routine component of all hospital care. Dr Duncan Gillespie from HEDS was the lead on chapter 3 of the report which looked at how much current smoking is likely to cost the NHS in England through hospital admissions.

Dr Gillespie said: "The report is very important because it shows how the NHS might do more to help people stop smoking and we have shown what the potential economic payoffs might be." 

Dr Gillespie collaborated alongside HEDS colleagues Laura Webster, Colin Angus, Dr Rob Pryce and Professor Alan Brennan.

Image of cigarette smoke
CC BY 2.0 Dustin Gaffke
Dr Gillespie added: "Our involvement in this report builds on our collaboration with universities around the UK in the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, where we lead the economic component of the Centre's work in Sheffield."

The report found that by giving smokers the help they need to quit smoking while in hospital it will save lives, improve quality of life as well as increasing life expectancy for all smokers, and help to reduce the current £1 billion per year cost to the NHS of smoking by patients and staff.  

The report ‘Hiding in plain sight: Treating tobacco dependency in the NHS’ from the RCP’s Tobacco Advisory Group says that:
·         Treating tobacco dependency is not just about preventing disease: in many cases it represents effective disease treatment. Clinicians working in all areas of medicine can improve their patients’ lives by helping them to quit.
·         Current models of delivering stop smoking services separately from mainstream NHS services, while successful in the past, may now not be the best approach because the patient has to seek help themselves
·         Most health professionals receive little or no training in treating smokers
·         The NHS does not collect data on smoking treatment delivery, or have a payment tariff for treating tobacco dependency
·         Smoking treatment also tends to be squeezed out, even in the management of diseases caused by smoking, by other, less cost-effective interventions

To address all these issues, the report recommends:
  • ·         As smoking cessation treatments save money for the NHS, in the short as well as the long term, they should be prioritised as a core NHS activity
  • ·         Smoking cessation should be incorporated as a systematic and opt-out component of all NHS services, and delivered in smoke-free settings
  • ·         As systematic identification of smokers and delivering cessation support doubles quit rates, health service commissioners should ensure that smokers are identified and receive cost-effective smoking interventions – failing to do so is as negligent as not treating cancer
  • ·         We should allow e-cigarettes to be used on NHS sites to support smokers to remain smoke-free and help to sustain smoke-free policies
  • ·         Legislation requiring hospitals to implement completely smoke-free grounds should be introduced, as the current guidance isn’t being implemented
  • ·         Training in smoking cessation should be introduced into all undergraduate and postgraduate healthcare professional training curricula and as mandatory training for the entire NHS healthcare professional workforce.

The report was lead by Professor John Britton, chair of the RCP’s Tobacco Advisory Group and Dr Sanjay Agrawal, consultant in respiratory and intensive care medicine, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and a member of the RCP Tobacco Advisory Group
Professor Britton said: ‘Treating the more than one million smokers who are admitted to hospitals every year represents a unique opportunity for the NHS to improve patients’ lives, while also saving money. For too long the NHS has failed to take responsibility for smoking, while prioritising other, less effective activity. Smoking, the biggest avoidable cause of death and disability in the UK, is hiding in plain sight in our hospitals and other NHS services; the NHS must end the neglect of this huge opportunity to improve our nation’s health.’