Paul Dolan is Professor of Behavioural Science in the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science and also serves as the Chief Academic Advisor on Economic Appraisal for the UK Government Economic Service. He has published extensively on what measures of benefit can and should to be used to inform resource allocation decisions in health care. His perspective is that the end-point of providing health care should not be health itself but, rather, the impact that health states have on overall subjective wellbeing, or “happiness”.
For nearly a decade, the UK NHS has been using performance-related compensation to motivate health care professionals to perform their jobs well. Research demonstrates that the job satisfaction of health care professionals has a significant, positive impact on health outcomes and that income affects job satisfaction. Missing, however, are studies on just how changes in compensation affect health care professionals’ enjoyment of their jobs and, so, personal motivation to do them well.
A new discussion paper from the Centre of Health Economics (CHE), University of York, reports first results from a programme of collaborative research by CHE, Nancy Devlin of the OHE, and David Parkin of NHS South of England. The study, funded by the UK Department of Health, is the first to examine the relationship between hospital costs and patients’ health outcomes.