Welcome to the 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 have a separate, medically led, health policy unit called the Doctors' Policy Research Group which publishes further research and policy analysis.

For further information on our research or for other health related inquiries please contact Healthcare Researcher Edmund Stubbs at edmund.stubbs@civitas.org.uk.


  • Supplying the Demand for Nurses: The need to end
    the rationing of nurse training places

    - Edmund Stubbs, November 2015

    Every year, substantial numbers of nurses are recruited from overseas despite nursing courses in the UK being vastly over-subscribed. This has led to a situation where many, well-qualified young people in this country are denied the opportunity to become nurses. This yearly limit on nurse education places also puts the NHS in a weak position for hiring and retaining staff as nurses, knowing they are in short supply, can work for agencies that charge substantially higher fees to supply the public sector with staff.

    Download the report here

  • Healthcare Reform in Italy and Spain: Do these
    tax-financed, decentralised systems facilitate
    better reform implementation than in the NHS?

    - Nicole Gerlis, November 2015

    The NHS is under unprecedented strain. When looking for solutions, stakeholders often compare the NHS with Bismarckian social insurance healthcare systems in Europe rather than other Beveridgean tax-financed systems. This report studies the Italian and Spanish healthcare systems, which are of the latter type and operate more similarly to our own.

    Download the report here

  • Training our NHS Health Workers: Should the UK
    train more of its staff?

    - Edmund Stubbs, April 2015

    Our country's health system is highly reliant on overseas health workers who often stay less than a year, as well as agency staff who work on a temporary basis at extremely inflated costs. Many posts in unfavourable specialities such as emergency medicine are currently vacant and there is a severe and growing GP recruitment crisis.

    Download the report here

  • NHS Contribute Extra: A return to the NHS's core

    - Christoph Lees & Edmund Stubbs, February 2015

    NHS patients should be given the opportunity to take their personal treatment budgets to any suitable healthcare provider in return for a modest additional monthly payment, this new Civitas report argues. The reform has the potential to raise billions of pounds a year to help plug the health service's widening budget deficit and give patients more flexibility and control over where they are treated.

    Download the report here

  • Weekend Mortality on the Continent: the cases of
    Germany and France

    - Edmund Stubbs, February 2015

    For a number of years we have been aware of higher mortality rates during weekend hospital admissions in the UK. Edmund Stubbs investigates whether this ‘weekend effect’ exists in France and Germany, and how healthcare system differences in each country could influence this phenomenon.

    Download the report here

  • A Season of Major Incidents: What is really causing
    the A&E crisis this winter?

    - Edmund Stubbs, January 2015

    What has caused this year’s winter crisis in A&E? Edmund Stubbs identifies 11 factors potentially contributing to emergency departments’ current poor performance. He also explores the differences between England and Wales, and whether these can be attributed to differences in leadership.

    Download the report here

  • Articles for the Media