COVID-19

Health and Care Economics Cymru is playing a key role in policy support, helping to consider the cost-effectiveness of what we spend public money on and how we use scarce resources during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We are working closely with our partners and stakeholders to help understand the challenges and economic impact of the pandemic locally, nationally and internationally. 

Never before have we appreciated our NHS and care organisations more than during the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

However, this has also brought into sharp focus that our health and care resources are limited. And unless a miracle happens, difficult decisions must be made about how to get the most benefit from the available resources for the people of Wales 

For so many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the working environment for the Health and Care Economics Cymru team. But we are delighted that we have adapted well to the changes and it is business as usual for most of our activities. We have been working closely with all our collaborators in some of the challenges faced by COVID-19 (e.g. research trials have been paused during the pandemic) but also sought out many opportunities to use our skills and expertise to address some of the key questions that COVID-19 has brought on the health and economic impact to Wales and beyond.  

Our skills and expertise can help you consider the cost-effectiveness of what we spend public money on and how we make best use of scare resources both within the immediate pandemic and beyond. 

Examples of our activities include: 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the working environment for the Health and Care Economics Cymru team. Like many people across the country, we have transitioned to working remotely from home. While some of our projects have ‘paused’ (e.g. some trials have stopped recruiting participants), many continue as normal or in alternative format. We have been working hard to adjust to new ways of working and seeking out opportunities to share our health economics knowledge and skills with our partners and stakeholders during these challenging times. Here is a snapshot of our recent COVID-19-related activities.  

Providing policy support 

  • Professor Rhiannon Tudor Edwards is part of a working group of economists across Wales supporting the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales looking at how to support the Welsh economy through lockdown and recovery whilst minimising the further spread of COVID-19. 
  • Professor Deb Fitzsimmons was part of the UKRI College of Experts for the COVID-19 programme between April and July 2020. 
  • Dr Pippa Anderson and Dr Bernadette Sewell have responded to the Welsh Government call for a register of experts.  

Providing evidence on the safety of treatments for COVID-19 

  • Professor Dyfrig Hughes has been selected as a member of the UK COVID-19 Therapeutics Taskforce. The Taskforce will oversee the identification, development and deployment of safe and effective treatments.  
  • Research by Professor Dyfrig Hughes on treatment of chloroquine poisoning has provided important evidence on the safety of treatments that are being tested for use in COVID-19. 

Collaborating with our partners and stakeholders and contributing health economics expertise to grant submissions 

  • We have collaborated on over 15 different COVID-19-related grant submissions. 
  • Professor Deb Fitzsimmons and Professor Rhiannon Tudor Edwards have joined the UKRI/NIHR College of Experts to assess COVID-19 applications, on expressed request from Health and Care Research Wales to ensure a Welsh presence. 

For more information about our other recent events, see our News page.