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, 14 November 2017

New Director of HEDS - Dr Phil Shackley

Image of Dr Phil Shackley
Dr Phil Shackley
Dr Phil Shackley has taken over from Professor Simon Dixon as the new Director of HEDS. Simon had done more than his fair share at the helm of HEDS and now steps back into the ranks to continue his research. We asked Dr Shackley a few questions about his new role in the section and plans for the future.

HEDS and ScHARR has huge global esteem as a research and teaching centre, what is it that makes HEDS so successful?

In short, the people who work here.  We are lucky to have such fantastic staff who are tremendously committed to what we do in terms of our research, teaching and our other activities. There’s a great sense of togetherness and a willingness to help one another out whenever the occasion demands.
You have taken over from Professor Simon Dixon who has been the Director of HEDS for six years, what advice has Simon given to you?

Simon’s main advice was to rein in any megalomaniac tendencies I may have and not to take on too much myself!  The art of delegation is one I intend to practise.

You have had two stints with ScHARR starting way back in 1996, what changes have you seen in your field of health economics in that time?

Where to begin?  If I had to pick one, it would be the increased sophistication of the methods of cost-effectiveness analysis. This is due in no small part to the now extensive use of Bayesian methods to examine uncertainty in economic evaluations. Back in 1996, I had no idea what a probabilistic sensitivity analysis was!

Teaching has played a large part of your role in recent years, will that continue or are you keen to move back towards research and your own specialist research areas?

The big change will be finally relinquishing my teaching management roles.  As well as being the Section Director for Learning and Teaching and a long serving member of the School’s Teaching Committee, I’ve also served time as programme director for two of our Masters courses (most recently the MSc Heath Economics and Decision Modelling, and in the dim and distant past the MSc in Health Economics and Management). As far as my teaching is concerned, I’ve always enjoyed that aspect of my job, and I have no plans to stop doing it in the foreseeable future.

What are your plans for the short term? 

To hold onto my sanity! Only kidding! To build on the strong foundations provided by my predecessors (Simon Dixon and Alan Brennan) to consolidate (and hopefully strengthen) our position as one of the world’s leading centres for health economics and decision science.