Economic consequences of health inequalities in maternal and neonatal health
Maternity services in the UK care for an increasingly diverse population. More than a quarter of live births in England in 2019 were to mothers born outside the UK, 39% of babies belonged to Black, Asian or minority ethnic groups, and 26% were living in the most socioeconomically deprived quintile of areas. Women of Black or Asian ethnicity have higher rates of maternal and perinatal mortality, maternal morbidity, and poorer access to and experiences of care. Evidence about the costs to the National Health Service (NHS) of these health inequalities is lacking, with limited active research. Recent guidance for local maternity systems aims to improve equity for mothers and babies from Black, Asian and mixed ethnic minority groups, and improve race equality for staff. Recent evidence synthesis exercises have identified areas and potential interventions that could improve outcomes for these groups. However, it is not known which interventions should be prioritised or whether they represent value for money to the NHS.
RESEARCH EXPERIENCE, RESEARCH METHODS AND TRAINING
This studentship will provide experience and training in:
- literature review methods,
- data management and statistical methods to handle larges datasets including Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) and the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD),
- applied methods of cost-effectiveness analysis using participant-level data, and
- the use of decision analytical models to synthesise evidence on relevant cost and effect parameters to undertake a cost-effectiveness analysis.
The student will conduct a programme of work that will involve a comprehensive review of the literature to identify a priority list of interventions to reduce health inequalities, the use of routine datasets to quantify the likely costs of maternal health inequalities in the UK, and through evidence synthesis and economic modelling methodology, the formal evaluation of cost-effectiveness of a key-priority intervention to improve outcomes in Black, Asian and mixed ethnic minority groups.
FIELD WORK, SECONDMENTS, INDUSTRY PLACEMENTS AND TRAINING
This project would suit a candidate with a strong interest in reducing health inequalities in maternal health in Black, Asian and mixed ethnic minority groups. The candidate will have a background in health economics or health policy at a Master’s level with a proven record of quantitative skills (mathematics, statistics, economics) and experience in a research environment in an academic or private sector.