LSE Health and Social Care (LSEHSC) was established as a research centre in 2000, when two existing research groups were brought together under its umbrella: LSE Health and the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU). Both of these groups were established at the School in the 1990s, LSE Health in 1993 and PSSRU in 1996. Since then, the Centre has developed significantly and now incorporates the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and the NIHR School for Social Care Research (SSCR). The Centre's mission is the production and dissemination of high quality research and policy analysis in health and social care.
Since its establishment, LSE Health and Social Care has developed significantly, bringing in a substantial number of research awards totalling £48 million, and producing over 1600 peer-review journal papers, books and reports since 2004 alone. The Centre’s contributions to health and social care policy and practice have been recognised through a number of awards, accreditations, the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, and the fact that its growing reputation has attracted many requests for research, expert advice, collaborations on research proposals, and significant links with policy makers, government bodies and organisations such as the European Commission and the World Health Organization.
The Centre continues to undertake world-class research and attract and retain high-quality staff.
LSE Health is a research centre affiliated with the Departments of Social Policy, Management and Accounting. The Centre's unique research base contributes to the LSE's established world presence and reputation in health policy, health economics and demography. Its mission is to advance, transmit and sustain knowledge and understanding through the conduct of research, teaching and scholarship at the highest international standards, for the benefit of the international and national health policy community. Bringing together a core team of researchers and academics, LSE Health promotes and draws upon the multidisciplinary expertise of 30 staff members, 50 associated academics and a number of postgraduate students.
LSE Health staff contribute to a number of taught courses within LSE, including all of the Department of Social Policy’s health MSc programmes. Staff also run short courses on specific aspects of health economics and health policy.
Funding for research programmes comes from a variety of sources, including public bodies, charitable trusts and private corporations. Currently, research is funded by (among others) the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Department of Health for England, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the European Commission, USAID, the European Parliament, the Commonwealth Fund and the Wellcome Trust.
LSE Health is a WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Policy and Pharmaceutical Economics. It is a founding member of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, which supports and promotes evidence-based health policy-making through comprehensive and rigorous analysis of the dynamics of health systems in Europe. The Observatory is a partnership between the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the Governments of Belgium, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the Veneto Region of Italy, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank, UNCAM (French National Union of Health Insurance Funds), the London School of Economics and Political Science and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. The Observatory publishes Eurohealth, a quarterly periodical which has become a primary platform for policy makers, academics and politicians to express their views on European and comparative health policy developments.
The Centre supports a number of other international research infrastructures, including the European Health Policy Research Network (EHPRN), which comprises a number of centres of excellence from both the UK and the continent, and the Health Equity Network (HEN), which aims to discuss, disseminate and promote equity objectives in various health systems in the world. The Centre has also helped to establish the mental health economics network in 17 western European countries with the aim of collating information and indicators for comparative analysis.
The Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) is one of the leading social care research groups, not just in the UK, but internationally. Since its establishment in 1974, PSSRU has had considerable impact on national social care policy in the UK and in a number of other countries. PSSRU has also established itself as the leading European group on mental health economics and policy, and has an excellent worldwide reputation for its work in this field.
A branch of the PSSRU was established at LSE in 1996, following more than 20 years of policy and practice research at the University of Kent at Canterbury. In the same year a PSSRU branch was opened at the University of Manchester.
Directed by Professor Martin Knapp, PSSRU at LSE carries out policy analysis, research and consultancy in the UK and abroad. The Unit's current research programme focuses on needs, resources and outcomes in social and health care, with particular emphasis on economic aspects of community care, residential and nursing home provision, social care markets and commissioning, long-term care finance, and mental health policy. The PSSRU has long had close and productive links with policy makers in the UK and elsewhere.
PSSRU's mission is to conduct high quality research on social and health care to inform and influence policy, practice and theory.
Associated with this mission are the following aims:
To conduct long-term research to help shape the developments of social and health care systems, in the UK and internationally, while also responding to more immediate research needs;
To develop and employ rigorous research methods from a multidisciplinary base;
To examine the performance and functioning of social and health care finance, organisation and delivery, with a particular emphasis on promoting efficiency and equity;
To conduct research that meets the best standards of research governance;
To work towards greater user involvement in research;
To disseminate research findings to a variety of audiences through a variety of media; and
To develop the research and related skills of PSSRU staff.
Since January 2008, PSSRU has been awarded just over 50 new research grants, totalling £9 million, and has been involved in a number of key policy and practice discussions, such as the Dilnot Commission on the Funding of Care and Support, building community capacity, making the economic case for mental health promotion and prevention, and (jointly with the Kent branch) the evaluations of the Individual Budgets Pilot Scheme and the Partnerships for Older People Projects (POPP).
The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies supports and promotes evidence-based health policy-making through comprehensive and rigorous analysis of the dynamics of health systems in Europe. The Observatory is a partnership between the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, the Governments of Belgium, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the Veneto Region of Italy, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank, UNCAM (French National Union of Health Insurance Funds), the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). It comprises a Steering Committee, a core management team, a research policy group and staff. The Observatory's Secretariat is in Brussels and there are research hubs in London and Berlin.
The School for Social Care Research (SSCR), funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), formally began work in May 2009. Led by Professor Martin Knapp (LSE) and with a budget of £15 million over five years, the SSCR is a partnership between six leading social care research centres in England and many more universities and other entities. This follows the success of NIHR's first such research School - the NIHR School for Primary Care Research. SSCR's mission is to develop the evidence base for adult social care practice in England by commissioning and conducting world-class research.
The School's goals are to:
commission and conduct high quality research
provide the focus for social care research within NIHR and promote the general development of social care research
develop methodological rigour and broaden the methodological repertoire consult widely on research priorities
contribute to ongoing efforts to build social care research capacity and improve research awareness
disseminate findings and support other knowledge transfer activities.
To date, SSCR has commissioned 21 research studies, 5 scoping reviews and 16 reviews of methods.
SSCR has been consulting widely with key stakeholders to ensure that the research commissioned is relevant to social care practice, and provides support to those working within social care. SSCR has consulted with many individuals and groups, including people who use services, carers and practitioners, through meetings, workshops, an online research suggestion process, SSCR's Advisory Group and SSCR's User, Carer, Practitioner Reference Group.
Visit our website for more information: www.sscr.nihr.ac.uk.