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Introducing the new Institute for Health Policy and Organisation

Alliance Manchester Business School is home to a number of world-leading institutes. Hear about the new Institute for Health Policy and Organisation, and what is next for the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research and the Sustainable Consumption Institute.

Professors Damian Hodgson and Kath Checkland, Co-Directors of the new Institute for Health Policy and Organisation, outline its vision.

The funding and delivery of effective health care is one of the most significant global grand challenges. Old paradigms are proving ineffective in the face of demographic changes, while technological advances and devolved decision-making represent new, but unproven, opportunities.

The University of Manchester has a growing reputation as a world leader in the fields of health services organisation and policy research, and we are excited about how we can build on this potential to make a real step change.

Indeed the current climate creates the opportunity to develop bold and distinctive new ways to conceive healthcare delivery. The creation of our new Institute will ensure that we are front and centre of these important debates both nationally and internationally.

The complex challenges facing the organisation and delivery of health and care also increasingly demands research which is interdisciplinary, synthesising insights from a diversity of fields and disciplines.

This is yet another reason why our cross-faculty Institute is so timely, bringing together expertise that is currently distributed across faculties or specialist groupings.


The Institute is built around three broad themes of research:
• Organisation and workforce will cover health and care policy and its impact upon service organisation and the health and care workforce.

• Regulation and leadership will look at how health and social care is led and governed, including internal and external systems of regulation for holding organisations and individual professionals to account for the quality and safety of services.

• Health and care in the wider context will focus on how health and care policy are impacted by social, political and economic contexts.

The Institute brings together a dozen leading professors and around 35 additional academic staff from the University’s Faculties of Humanities and of Biology, Medicine and Health.

The combined efforts of this research community have secured £31m in awards and donations for the University since 2011 covering research infrastructure and grants, including major funding to undertake evaluations of a number of large-scale national programmes and reforms in the National Health Service.

The academics have extensive and recognised expertise in the full range of policy-related topics, including health system organisation, leadership and management, governance and regulation, and implementation and evaluation. Few competitor institutions have comparable strength across the broad range of relevant disciplines.

Global pressures

Recognising sustainable health care as a global challenge, the Health Assembly of the World Health Organisation recently published a five-year plan calling on countries to view the health and social care workforce as an investment, rather than a cost, and take advantage of the economic benefits of growth in the health and social care sector.

Here in the UK an ageing population and increasing costs of treatment have exacerbated pressures on the NHS as they have outstripped healthcare funding, while funding for social care and public health has been reduced. Recent efforts to confront this challenge include reorganisation and restructuring of healthcare, in the form of new models of care, local devolution of health and care, and efforts to integrate health commissioning and delivery.

Greater Manchester stands at the forefront of such efforts, taking regional responsibility for health and social care budgets of more than £6bn and redesigning care for 2.8 million residents.

As such, researchers across our University are ideally placed to inform, shape and support responses to this pressing global challenge at a regional, national and international level.