Welcome to Civitas Health Unit
The health unit was set up to facilitate informed and impartial debate among key stakeholders, patients, and the grassroots of the medical profession, in order to help build consensus on the future of health care in the UK.
Our research aims to bring fresh thinking to problems facing the NHS through careful analysis and a consideration of what can be learnt from other health systems. From this, we endeavour to generate evidence-based ideas that are committed to high-quality, universal, safe and integrated health care.
We also helped to set up Lead-In, formerly known as Young Civitas for Medics. Now with over 1,000 members, Lead-In aims to engage medical students in debates about the future of health care and develop critical thinking skills.
COMMENT: Why the health service works for patients in France?
A short comment piece by a British business leader and former NHS staff member now living in France, observing differences between British and French health provision.
BRIEFING: The NHS: The Envy of the World?
A brief analysis of a recent ICM poll Civitas commissioned exploring public attitudes towards the NHS and European-style health care reforms. This data shows that while there is pride in the NHS, its meaning should be carefully interpreted, as there is much more public support for radical reform than often meets the eye.
BRIEFING: Plain Explanation or Special Pleading?
An update on UCL statistics Professor Mervyn Stone's work on the issues with current NHS funding allocations. Following a December decision by the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) to reject the previously proposed Person-Based Resource Allocation (PBRA) formula, Professor Stone outlines how even the replacement formula presented to the board has substantial logical flaws and why a "clean sweep" approach to NHS funding allocations is overdue.
BRIEFING: Updated Health Systems briefings
The latest US, German, Dutch, French, Swiss and Canadian health system briefings are now available. This series of online briefings looks at the structure and performance of other health systems and ask whether or not they offer better alternatives to the current NHS, or possible solutions to some of its biggest problems.
BRIEFING: PFI - Still the Only Game in Town?
The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and the role it has played in NHS infrastructure procurement has long been controversial, with critics arguing it is inefficient and excessively costly while defenders praise it as the best and the only way to procure new NHS infrastructure - the 'only game in town'. With the recent announcement of the 'PF2' reforms by Chancellor George Osborne, this debate has now taken on a new dimension. The aim of this report is to explore whether PFI has been a worthwhile project and what potential alternatives are available.
PUBLICATION: Rejecting an empirical `person-based' formula for funding CCGs in favour of the farming analogue of one-year-ahead extrapolation
In November 2011, eleven health academics published an article revealing the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation's (ACRA) new 'person-based' funding formula for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which are due to take over commissioning in April 2013. Emeritus Professor of Statistical Science at UCL Mervyn Stone has written an article challenging this approach, arguing that we should instead base allocations on a model that extrapolates from historical costs.
BRIEFING: Rationing in the NHS in the Current Fiscal Climate
The National Health Service is currently facing its toughest budgetary challenge since the 1950s, as NHS spending has been frozen in real terms and the NHS is currently tasked with making efficiency savings worth £4 billion every year towards a total saving of £20 billion by 2015. The service also faces additional pressures from demographic change and the current NHS reforms. Concerns therefore exist that increased rationing of care within the NHS may be a risk at the current time. This report explores the evidence that is available relating to rationing in the NHS, to see how much we can ascertain about the current situation within the service.