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£1 million drug treatment study launched

08 Dec 2011

University of Manchester researchers have been awarded £1 million to investigate the effectiveness of the Department of Health’s ‘Payment by Results’ (PbR) schemes in the treatment of addiction.

PbR was introduced by the last government to link clinical healthcare pay to performance by using patient experience and clinical outcomes; instead of being paid a set amount for a given procedure, under PbR NHS trusts are paid according to the quality of care they provide.

The Manchester team, led by Dr Michael Donmall, a Reader in Health Sciences, and Professor Matt Sutton, Professor of Health Economics, say the research will deliver a robust assessment of this approach to the care of problem drug users, in work that has key national policy implications.

The three year study, with Manchester colleagues Dr Tim Millar and Andrew Jones and collaborators at Birkbeck, London, RAND Europe and User Voice, will have process, impact and economic research components in eight pilot sites across England, with comparison to provision before introduction of PbR where possible and to non PbR sites where required.

Dr Donmall, who is Director of the National Drug Evidence Centre based at Manchester, said: “The pilots will be assessed by both process and impact evaluation, including reviewing existing research, mapping existing service delivery, and describing each PbR model alongside the different approaches developed.

“There will be in-depth examination of implementation, delivery and development. Monitoring data will be analysed alongside extensive interviewing of PbR stakeholders. Treatment outcomes will be analysed statistically in comparison to non-PbR sites via anonymised data linkage of existing data sources.

“The economic component of the evaluation will assess: the affordability of the schemes; whether the PbR schemes represent good value for money compared to alternative arrangements; the influence on provider behaviour, and the impact on the provider market.”


Notes for editors

For further information contact:

Aeron Haworth
Media Relations
Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences
The University of Manchester

Tel: 0161 275 8383