MacKay Hannah

Innovation and Health Outcomes in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales: Learning from differences in policy and practice between the devolved nations of the UK

Fri 15th May 2009

OVERVIEW View Seminar Agenda

The research, commissioned by Pfizer and conducted by IMS, examines differences in policy and practice between the devolved nations using comparators from publicly available data grounded in clinical areas. Four case study areas were used - cancer, cardiovascular disease, healthcare associated infections and access and investment. These formed the basis of the research and the findings have been summarised into four reports entitled Access to Innovation in Healthcare: Lessons from Devolution for Scotland.

The project researchers were asked to lay out the scale of the health challenge in each country, the policy and practice responses and the associated health outcomes to give real lessons from the first years of devolved health policy and practice. The research conclusions for Scotland are challenging.  Investment in new technologies seems sub-optimal to deal with the scale of the health challenges.  Risk factors and consequent disease levels are higher than UK averages, health outcomes are often poorer.  There are some examples of good practice that could be shared, but also areas where lessons from elsewhere could be learned.

The conference - one of four taking place across the UK in May 2009 - will launch the research and aims to start a policy debate on the broader policy questions of access to innovation and the impact on health outcomes. Scottish experts in each field will consider the new comparative study of differences in policy and practice, look at its applicability for Scotland and suggest where policy might evolve and improve.

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