A practical guide

Nick O'Shea

7 March 2019

Proving the economic case is becoming an essential part of commissioning health services, especially in an age of austerity. And we know that, when used wisely, economic evidence can help to bring about better policies and services for people with mental health.

In the first briefing by the new Mental Health Economics Collaborative (hosted by Centre for Mental Health, the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network and London School of Economics Personal Social Services Research Unit), the Centre’s chief economist Nick O’Shea explains the most widely used economic theories in relation to public services. He sets out the principles behind each theory and how it can be applied to decision-making about public policy and service commissioning.

The briefing is the first of a two-part series, the second of which will focus on how theory applies to the funding, commissioning and provision of mental health support.

It’s designed to be easy-to-read and uses experiences from everyday life to communicate some complex ideas.

To accompany the briefing....

… we've also created a series of videos with the briefing's author and Chief Economist, Nick O'Shea. He highlights some of the key points using some handy everyday examples. Watch the full series on our website or on our YouTube channel.


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Last updated: 28th October, 2019