About


The Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI) began operation in June 2013 as a dynamic health and social care policy think-tank committed to the founding principles of the NHS.

Read a review of achievements in our first three years

The primary focus of the Centre is to ensure that the public interest is given paramount importance in the development and discussion of health and social care policy.

It subjects current policy to careful, evidence-based critical scrutiny, and explores alternative solutions to the challenges of providing universal high quality health and social care, based on promoting greater democratic determination and accountability in the organisation and delivery of health and social care, emphasising the importance of probity, integrity and transparency in health policy-making and focusing strongly on the social determinants of health and well-being.

The Centre’s approach is UK-wide and aims to learn from developments within and across the 4 countries of the UK, and in other countries.

Why is the CHPI necessary?

The need for such a Centre has been evident since 2000, if not earlier. A democratic deficit has emerged in which decisions about health and social care policy have been taken by a tight network of actors to the detriment of the public interest. This was brought into sharp focus when the Health and Social Care Bill made its way through Parliament in 2011-12, and is once again evident in the current planning process for the NHS in England through a system of ‘Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships’ drawn from local health and social care professionals with no basis in law or representation.

Moreover, policy making has become less transparent, more opaque and more centralised than ever before. There are increasing concerns about conflicts of interest emerging for practitioners of health care in England, as well as for policy-makers themselves, and about the lack of genuine accountability for the coverage and quality of the health and social care services available to the public whose taxes finance them.

No other research-based body currently exists that is unconnected to either the government or the corporate sector and presents a critical view of the far-reaching and ongoing reorganisations imposed on the NHS since 2012.

How do we operate?

The work of the Centre builds on the existing social sciences research base on the impact of government-run and market-based systems in health and social care. It seeks to influence policy in the interest of democratic accountability and the best use of resources by presenting clear, evidence-based analyses to policy-makers in Parliament, the Health Select Committee, the Public Accounts Committee, the Department of Health, NHS England and NHS Improvement, the Care Quality Commission and other bodies. It draws on the disciplines of public health and epidemiology, health economics, political science, political economy and sociology, but care is taken to make our work accessible and useful to the public as well as to contribute constructively to policy formation.

The work is directed by a board of eight directors, of whom six constitute an Executive Management Team.

The focus of our work and who does it

The CHPI publishes reports on a wide range of key issues affecting the NHS and social care including funding, the organisation of primary care and social care, public health, mental health, staffing, deprivation, transparency and accountability.

Most work is produced by our Research Officer, Vivek Kotecha, plus members of the CHPI’s in-house research team working pro bono; but we also commission reports, analyses and blogs from a wide range of non-clinical and clinical experts.

Contributors have included: Dr Minh Alexander, Rebecca Ashley, Dr David Bell, Dr Martin Blanshard, Professor Mark Button, Tamasin Cave, Dr Elizabeth Cotton, Professor Robert Dingwall, Professor Danny Dorling, Dr Matthew Dunnigan, Professor Vikki Entwistle, Professor Marianna Fotaki, Professor Ian Greener, Professor Scott Greer, Dr Julian Tudor Hart, Dr Mark Hellowell, Professor Bob Hudson, Professor David Hunter, Roger Kline, Dr John Lister, Professor Martin McKee, Dr Aseem Malhotra, Dr Nadia Masood, Dr Thomas Mills, Dr Teodor Mladenov, Dr Catherine Needham, Professor Chris Newdick, Nick Pahl, Professor Calum Paton, Dr Hilary Pickles, Dr Sally Ruane, Professor Justine Schneider, Dr Lorcan Sheppard, Dr Jonathan Sleath, Dr Kat Smith, Roger Steer, Dr Ellen Stewart, Nick Taylor, Dr Jonathon Tomlinson, Professor Brian Toft, Laurence Vick, Peter Walsh.

Funding

We accept funding only from independent organisations and individuals. We do not accept funding from any private organisation which has a financial interest in the provision of health or social care services.

We rely on funding from charitable bodies and are constantly working to expand our crucially important base of individual donors. We gratefully acknowledge the grants for our work which have come from the following organisations: The Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust, The BetterWorld Trust, Doctors for the NHS, The Lipman-Miliband Trust, The Marmot Charitable Trust, and The Scurrah Wainright Charitable Trust.

 

Supporters

A highly valued group of distinguished people has backed the CHPI since its foundation in 2012: Sir John Arbuthnott, Professor John Ashton, Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, Sir Kenneth Calman, Professor Simon Capewell, Professor David Colquhoun, Professor Colin Crouch, Professor Danny Dorling, Dame Karen Dunnell, Dr Clare Gerada, Dr Julian Tudor Hart, Professor Walter Holland, Dr Richard Horton, Lord Frank Judd, Baroness Helena Kennedy, Professor Baroness Ruth Lister, Professor David Marquand, Professor Martin McKee, Lord Nic Rea, Professor Dai Smith, and Professor Alan Walker.