Completed projects

We ‘co-produce’ evidence with policy-makers to inform the early stages of policy-making, subjecting initiatives to thorough examination using routine datasets. We focus on evaluation methods, particularly of pilots. Our team supports implementation of initiatives through close work with policy and analytical staff at the Department of Health.

Assessing improvements in dementia care and support
Assessing improvements in dementia care and support

In order to inform the final year of the Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia, PIRU undertook a rapid evidence synthesis to assess progress in dementia care since 2009 and to identify remaining gaps and obstacles in delivering the commitments in the PM's Challenge.

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Supporting people with dementia using technology
Supporting people with dementia using technology

The growing number of people with dementia is increasing pressure on the health and care system. The use of technology may improve their outcomes and contain costs. PIRU looked at the evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of technology for supporting people with dementia, and examined the economic case for investing in such technology.

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Using the Friends and Family Test for service improvement in general practice
Using the Friends and Family Test for service improvement in general practice

The FFT, which provides patient feedback in ‘real time’, has been used within NHS acute hospitals since 2013 and was rolled out to general practice in 2015. PIRU was asked to investigate whether and how the FFT is used by general practice to improve services.

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Direct Payments in Residential Care evaluation
Direct Payments in Residential Care evaluation

The Department of Health invited local councils to become Trailblazers for direct payments (DPs) for people in residential care. DPs are cash payments with which people can buy care, intended to enable care home residents to exercise more choice. The overall aim of this study is to evaluate the introduction of DPs for residential care in the Trailblazers.

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Monitoring the diagnostic odyssey of rare diseases
Monitoring the diagnostic odyssey of rare diseases

There are over 5000 rare diseases (that is, diseases that affect five or fewer people in 10,000), estimated to affect around 3 million people in the UK. There are often long delays before reaching a diagnosis, which can have serious consequences for the health of patients. PIRU was asked to determine whether a system can be developed for monitoring the time taken for the diagnoses of rare diseases.

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Developing a global index of health care innovation
Developing a global index of health care innovation

PIRU is undertaking scoping work as a precursor to developing a global health care innovation index, which would enable countries to be compared in terms of their capabilities for developing and adopting health care innovations.

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Integrated Personal Commissioning programme scoping study and early evaluation
Integrated Personal Commissioning programme scoping study and early evaluation

The Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) programme enables people with long term needs to bring together their health and social care funding, and gives them greater control over how this is spent. The programme is being developed in several areas in England, and PIRU carried out some early stage research of the programme.

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Department of Health policy pilots: how the purpose of piloting matters for evaluation and learning
Department of Health policy pilots: how the purpose of piloting matters for evaluation and learning

This project examined how and why policy pilots are initiated, and how decisions about the organisation of pilots influence opportunities for evaluation.

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Cold Weather Plan evaluation
Cold Weather Plan evaluation

Each year, there are about 27,000 excess winter deaths and costs to the NHS of over £850m treating winter-related disease. The Government has a Cold Weather Plan which aims to alert people to, and prevent, the major avoidable effects of winter on people's health. PIRU evaluated the Plan in the winter of 2012-13 in order to see if it had the intended benefits and to look at its potential cost-effectiveness.

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General Practice Choice Pilot Evaluation
General Practice Choice Pilot Evaluation

Patient choice of an out-of-area practice was piloted in four PCT areas in England in 2012/13. Patients were able to access a GP practice away from the area in which they lived. PIRU carried out an independent evaluation of the choice pilots.

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NHS futures: Twenty-Thirty
NHS futures: Twenty-Thirty

PIRU supported a Department of Health project team highlighting the key technology factors driving health expenditure and helping to develop alternative scenarios of how the health and social care landscape will look in 20 years.

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Horizon scanning
Horizon scanning

PIRU undertook a horizon scanning exercise to anticipate new challenges facing the health care system over the next 5 years and to provide guidance on areas where there is a need for further research.

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Healthy Outlook evaluation
Healthy Outlook evaluation

PIRU evaluated whether Healthy Outlook reduced hospital admissions and mortality for COPD patients receiving telephone alerts about adverse weather conditions.

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Evaluation of the drugs recovery PbR (payment by results) pilots programme
Evaluation of the drugs recovery PbR (payment by results) pilots programme

Eight pilot sites are testing new approaches to the commissioning and delivery of drugs and alcohol recovery systems that will reward achievement of outcomes, or payment by results (PbR). PIRU provided advice on the outcome measures to be used for incentivising providers, and how the pilots could be evaluated.

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Drug recovery wing (DRW) pilot study
Drug recovery wing (DRW) pilot study

The Government piloted  wing-based, abstinence-focussed, drug recovery services in a number of prisons. PIRU carried out some early scoping and feasibility work on approaches to evaluation, and potential outcomes measures, which could be used to inform the planned evaluation.

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National datasets
National datasets

PIRU looked at how national datasets had been used for influencing and evaluating policy.

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Alternatives to the use of antipsychotic medication for dementia patients
Alternatives to the use of antipsychotic medication for dementia patients

We reviewed the effectiveness of alternative interventions to the use of antipsychotic medication for managing neuropsychiatric symptoms and challenging behaviours in patients with dementia.

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