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The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise ranked ScHARR as the UK´s most powerful department for Health Services Research. The majority of our research was ranked world-leading or internationally excellent.

Our partnerships and collaborations

One of ScHARR’s highest profile research activities over recent years involves a series of policy evaluations on alcohol pricing and its relation to health (Department of Health) and to crime (Home Office) and the impact of lowering the blood alcohol concentration limit on drink-driving and associated effects (NICE).

In collaboration with Loughborough Business School and the London School of Economics and Political Science, ScHARR has been awarded £1 million funding for a project to explore policy interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm. This consolidates and greatly expands an already significant portfolio of alcohol-related research activity.

We are also leading the development of a £1million Centre for Assistive Technology and Digital Healthcare which will be a focus for research into technology for people with disabilities, older people and people with long-term conditions.

Our Department of Health-funded Policy Research Programme Unit in Economic Evaluation in Health and Care Interventions reflects our interest in policy directed research.

Much of our research has international impact, focusing on health services which are not unique to the UK, and conducting trials of international relevance in fields such as rehabilitation, technology evaluation, and public health. At present we have more than fifty international collaborations including academic partners in Australia, Hong Kong and the USA. European research and development projects involve collaboration with universities in Holland, France, Spain, Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Macedonia. ScHARR is an active collaborator in the Cochrane Collaboration, Health Technology Assessment International and the WHO Europe Health Evidence Network.

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Risky alcohol consumption causes major medical, social and economic problems both in the UK and

worldwide and can have devastating effects on individuals and families.

Professor Petra Meier led a multidisciplinary ScHARR team on research for the UK Department of Health

that demonstrated that policies which lead to price increases reduce alcohol consumption and can have significant effects on reducing alcohol-related harm.

This was the first study to integrate data on alcohol pricing and purchasing patterns, consumption and harm to

answer the question ‘What would happen if government were to introduce different alcohol pricing policies?’

Results suggest that policies which

increase the price of alcohol can bring significant health and social benefits

and lead to considerable financial savings in the health service, criminal justice

system and in the workplace. This work has led to a £1 million international collaboration funded by the Medical

Research Council (MRC) to explore policy interventions to reduce alcohol-related

harm, which aims to drive a step-change in assessment of new and existing alcohol policies, especially in the areas of affordability and licensing.

The UK Government has now introduced plans within its Alcohol Strategy to

set a new minimum price per unit of alcohol sold.



Professor Petra Meier –––


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