A seminar delivered jointly by NHS Health Scotland and What Works Scotland to explore how we can predict the impact of a greater emphasis on prevention on the demand for health and social care.

Group discussions at the xPrevention and Predictive Analytics event Socio-economic inequalities and an ageing population have challenging implications for health and social care spending. But demand for health and social care doesn’t just depend on social circumstances or age, it depends on need, which in part depends on decisions we make about investments in prevention. This is at the heart of the economics of prevention.

But how can we predict what the impact of a greater emphasis on prevention might be on the demand for health and social care? In this seminar, the presenters and approximately 50 attendees explored different methods and data sources for modelling the impacts of prevention and discussed whether they are of practical use in appraising different options for prevention policy and practice.

This seminar was delivered jointly by NHS Health Scotland and What Works Scotland.

Date: Thursday 30 March 2017

Location: The Lighthouse, Glasgow


Heather McAuley presenting

Heather McCauley

The event was introduced by Neil Craig, Principal Public Health Advisor at NHS Scotland.

Presentation by Heather McCauley, consultant and former senior civil servant both in New Zealand and Scotland, most recently in the Strategy Unit of the Scottish Government, on predictive analytics.

Presentation by Eric Silverman, Research Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, School of Computing, Teesside University, on about agent-based modelling and simulation.

Diane Stockton, Evaluation Team Head, Public Health Sciences, NHS Health Scotland, talked about the Burden of Disease data and their potential use to inform policy and practice around prevention.

Ian Marr of Aberdeen YMCA, concluded the event with a short introduction to Social Impact Bonds and Social Impact Investment Partnerships

See presentations from other What Works Scotland prevention events and our related publications.

Reflections and reactions

What Works Scotland co-director Ken Gibb reflects on the implications of Heather McCauley’s presentation for public spending, uncovering probabilities, and practice and policy for effective interventions.

Read his article on the Brick by Brick blog.