Research into the UK's health system is one of our core activities and has been since we were founded over 70 years ago. We undertake projects that will provide evidence on key areas of health and social care and which build upon our established areas of expertise.

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Patient-initiated follow-up: will it free up capacity in outpatient care?


04/08/2022 Sarah Reed | Nadia Crellin

With the number of outpatient hospital appointments in England recently as high as 125 million per year and a huge elective care backlog following the Covid-19 pandemic, patient-initiated follow-up on outpatient appointments has been touted as a potential solution in appropriate cases. But can it free up much-needed capacity while maintaining quality of patient experience and outcomes? As the NHS begins to expand its use of the approach, the NIHR RSET research team has conducted a first review of the available evidence.

Inequality on the inside: Using hospital data to understand the key health care issues for women in prison


19/07/2022 Dr Miranda Davies | Rachel Hutchings | Eilís Keeble

Is good-quality health care being provided for women in prison? As the government proceeds with plans to build 500 more prison places for women, this new Nuffield Trust analysis uses HES data to look at women prisoners' use of hospital services, finding that they face a series of challenges and risks in prison because of barriers to accessing health and care services.

Getting the best out of remote consulting in general practice – practical challenges and policy opportunities


29/06/2022 Dr Rebecca Rosen | Claudia Leone

The Covid-19 pandemic triggered a very sudden and widespread shift to remote consulting in general practice. While many patients and clinicians have welcomed the convenience, quality and safety of remote consulting, inherent tensions still exist in choosing between remote and face-to-face care when capacity is constrained. This new Nuffield Trust report explores the opportunities, challenges and risks associated with this technological shift, and the practical and policy implications of recent learning.

Was the NHS overwhelmed last winter?


28/06/2022 Dr Elizabeth Fisher | Sarah Scobie

Throughout the pandemic, politicians and other policymakers have emphasised the need to protect the NHS from collapse or overwhelm: even before Covid-19, the health service struggled to stay above water given worsening capacity, staffing and demand issues, especially during the colder months. So what happened to urgent and emergency hospital care last winter, when another wave of the virus hit the country during a time when it would be stretched to its absolute limits even absent of a pandemic?

Placed at a premium? The use of recruitment and retention pay supplements to address staffing shortfalls


01/06/2022 Lucina Rolewicz | Billy Palmer

Regional variation in NHS staffing levels can lead to inequalities in health outcomes, care quality and people’s ability to access services. Our new analysis explores supplementary payments (also known as recruitment and retention premia), which have been used by NHS organisations across England over the last few decades and present an opportunity to ensure a fairer distribution of staff. They can be designed to attract or keep staff working in certain services, locations or specialties.

Support at the end of life: The role of hospice services across the UK


23/05/2022 Eilís Keeble | Sarah Scobie | Rachel Hutchings

Covid-19 created huge disruption to end of life care services, with many thousands more people dying at home than previously. Hospices play a vital role supporting people and their families at the end of life, but little is known about how these services are being delivered and the issues they are grappling with. This new analysis by Nuffield Trust based on a survey carried out by Hospice UK plugs that gap and provides a picture of a sector undergoing rapid change in the face of fast-changing circumstances.

Supporting patient engagement with digital health care innovations: Lessons from the Care City test bed


05/05/2022 Rachel Hutchings | Chris Sherlaw-Johnson

Health apps and digital tools have the potential to help alleviate some of the huge pressures the NHS faces from Covid-19, the backlog of care and rising demand. But introducing these tools into health care and supporting people to use them is never a quick fix, and they will not work for everyone. This summary provides a set of lessons for ensuring digital health innovations are applied in optimal ways for the people using them. The findings are based on a large-scale evaluation of digital technologies being implemented in health and social care in East London.

Public satisfaction with the NHS and social care in 2021: Results from the British Social Attitudes survey


30/03/2022 Dan Wellings | Danielle Jefferies | David Maguire | John Appleby | Nina Hemmings | Jessica Morris | Laura Schlepper

Analysis of NatCen's 2021 British Social Attitudes survey by Nuffield Trust and The King's Fund shows a huge and unprecedented drop in public satisfaction with the NHS and its individual services, despite widespread support for the fundamental principles of the health service. So what's driving this change?

Health system recovery from Covid-19: International lessons for the NHS


02/03/2022 Sarah Reed | Laura Schlepper | Nigel Edwards

The challenges confronting the NHS in recovering from the pandemic are huge, with elective services that were scaled down during the worst of the crisis now with waiting lists of over 6 million patients. Yet worldwide, the pandemic has left even the most well-equipped health systems vulnerable. What approaches have other countries used to move towards recovery, and what might the NHS learn? This major new Nuffield Trust report looks across 16 different countries to gain an understanding of the recovery challenge worldwide.

Growing problems: What has been the impact of Covid-19 on health care for children and young people in England?

Annual Statement


This scrolling data story explores the dramatic and concerning effect of the pandemic on children and young people's health, and the care they receive.