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Health Economics and Applied Statistics

Leads: Professor Peter McMeekin, Professor Joanne Gray, Associate Professor Angela Bate

The aim of the health economics and applied statistics (HEAS) research theme is to develop and encourage the application of appropriate economic and statistical methods to improve health, wellbeing and health and social care research. More generally, our aims are to:

  • Research economic approaches to health and social care at standards of international excellence
  • Develop and apply economic techniques to improve health and social care and population health and wellbeing
  • Make available to our partners a body of expertise in health economics
  • Build and sustain capacity in the economics of health

Our research spans the field of health economics, covering the five major themes of: economic evaluation, priority setting, policy evaluation, methodological developments within health economics such as the use of linked data in evaluation and understanding transformation and technical change in healthcare. We use a variety of economic and statistics methods to explore cost effectiveness, efficiency, equity and return on investment across the health and social care arena. 

The HEAS research theme has a wide portfolio of applied and methodological research projects funded by the NIHR, research councils, charitable organisations and industry.

We engage with policy makers, clinicians, clinical scientists, patient groups and applied health researchers. Our research is multidisciplinary and based on strong collaborations across the North-East and North Cumbria region, other UK institutions, and internationally. Further, the research conducted contributes hugely to the NHS, Local Authorities, and funding bodies at both national and local levels. 


Angela Bate
Darren Flynn
Melissa Girling 
Joanne Gray
Andrew McCarthy
Stephen McCarthy 
Peter McMeekin
Eduwin Pakpahan
Dilupa Samarakoon

Recent Research Projects

NIHR HS&DR. REcruiting and RetAining nurses, and carers in Care Homes: what works, for which staff, under what circumstances, and at what cost? The REACH Realist Review. 

NIHR HTA.  Improving engagement and health and care outcomes for adults with co-existing mental health and substance misuse conditions. 

NIHR Social of Social Care Research:  Bathing Adaptations in the Homes of Older Adults: a randomised controlled trial, economic evaluation and process evaluation, (the BATH-OUT-2 trial).

The Health Foundation:  Using the National Endoscopy Database (NED) to evaluate endoscopy performance and reduce unwarranted variation in quality. (NED APRICOT).

Recent Publications:

ETTAA Collaborative Group, Sharples, L, Sastry, P, Freeman, C, Bicknell, C, Chiu, Y-D, Vallabhaneni, SR, Cook, A, Gray, J, McCarthy, A, McMeekin, P, Vale, L & Large, S 2021, 'Aneurysm growth, survival, and quality of life in untreated thoracic aortic aneurysm: the effective treatments for thoracic aortic aneurysms study', European Heart Journal, pp. 1-14.

Vernazza, CR, Carr, K, Holmes, RD, Wildman, J, Gray, J, Exley, C, Smith, RA & Donaldson, C 2021, 'Resource Allocation in a National Dental Service Using Program Budgeting Marginal Analysis', JDR Clinical & Translational Research, pp. 1-10.

Devi, R., Goodman, C., Dalkin, S., Bate, A., Wright, J., Jones, L. & Spilsbury, K., Attracting, recruiting and retaining nurses and care workers working in care homes: the need for a nuanced understanding informed by evidence and theory. In: Age and Ageing. 50, 1, p. 65-67. 01 Jan 2021. 

Price, CI, McCarthy, S, Bate, A & McMeekin, P, 'Impact of emergency care centralisation on mortality and efficiency', Emergency Medicine Journal, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 180-186. 2020 

Bhattarai, N, Price, C, McMeekin, P, Javanbakht, M, Vale, L, Ford, GA & Shaw, L 2021, 'Cost-effectiveness of an enhanced Paramedic Acute Stroke Treatment Assessment (PASTA) during emergency stroke care: economic results from a pragmatic cluster randomised trial', International Journal of Stroke.

To review all research papers see the Northumbria University Research Portal

Postgraduate Students:

We currently supervise a number of MSc and PhD postgraduate students. Prospective postgraduate research students are encouraged to enquire with the relevant member of staff. Find out more about postgraduate studies.

Teaching and Training:

We deliver a number of unaccredited CPD courses aimed at health and social care professionals and wishing to develop their skills in health economics and applied statistics.

  • Social Return on Investment
  • Introduction to quantitative research and applied statistics

Contact Details:

For further information on research, training opportunities and consultancy interests, please contact Professor Joanne Gray ( or individual staff members.

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