Health Economics & Value for Money



Wirral Council has commissioned a series of economic evaluations of their commissioned public health interventions, led by Brendan Collins, who works in the Wirral Council Intelligence Unit, and the Health Economics Unit at the University of Liverpool’s Management School, which is led by Dr Alan Haycox.

The increasing use of health economics reflects the need for public sector bodies to obtain ‘value for money’ for their population. ‘Value for money’ means achieving the maximum benefit to the population using the finite resources that the public sector has. Using economic techniques in evaluation is important in understanding how efficient and cost effective services are, and where services can be improved.

Health economic techniques have a lot of similarities with the Social Return on Investment (SROI) approach for appraising the impact of public sector investments. The SROI approach has taken on a greater importance since the Public Services (Social Value) Act was passed in 2012, which compels public sector bodies to consider social value in procurement, where previously they might have just awarded a contract to the lowest bidder.

In considering traditional health outcomes like life years gained, alongside outcomes from a broader perspective such as changes in employment, community cohesion, and changes in the environment, we aim to get a genuine idea of the impact of the services that we evaluate.

For a more in-depth look at the concepts and methods behind health economics, follow the link below to a fact-sheet,
What is Health Economics?

For more information contact: Brendan Collins, Research Fellow in Health Economics, Wirral Council / University of Liverpool,  

Below are some of the economic evaluation reports that have been produced for Wirral so far...


Cost effectiveness of smoking services May 2015
Cost Effectiveness of Stop Smoking Services in Wirral: 2012/13 Update
Economic Evaluation of NHS Wirral’s Lifestyle & Weight Management Service (2009)
Cost effectiveness Smoking Executive Summary
Cost effectiveness Smoking Full Report