Photo of Professor Sally Sheard

Professor Sally Sheard BA PhD

Executive Dean, Institute of Population Health & Andrew Geddes and John Rankin Professor of Modern History Institute of Population Health

Research

The Governance of Health

Sally Sheard’s current research focuses on health policy from the perspective of expert advisers. She holds a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award, for a seven year project (2015-2022): The Governance of Health: medical, economic and managerial expertise in Britain since 1948. The project examines the perpetual struggle to balance healthcare needs with the provision of services following the creation of the UK NHS in 1948, which has become an increasingly politicised issue. Significant economic crises have stimulated discussions on alternative funding mechanisms and generated innovations to improve and measure NHS effectiveness and efficiency. Up until the 1960s decisions by government ministers on the quality and quantity of healthcare services were primarily informed by expert advice solicited from civil servants (some medically qualified) and from senior members of the medical profession through their speciality-based collegiate system. From the 1960s new sources of expertise were introduced into this process: health economists, professional health service managers, and external management consultants. The project seeks to understand this hitherto under-researched policymaking transition through the following research questions:
1. How has the relationship between the government and the medical profession changed in Britain in relation to the advent of expert advisers and think tanks?
2. How did the discipline of health economics develop and what are the mechanisms through which it has sought to influence health policy?
3. How have management consultancy businesses developed their interest and involvement in the NHS?
4. What has been the impact on health policy in Britain of expert medical, economic and managerial advice?
The project has produced case studies on the 1974 NHS reorganisation; the introduction of the NHS internal market in 1991; the development of waiting list policies; the creation of the National Institute for Health Research. Current case studies in development focus on the development of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE); the role of elite medical clubs; the impact of the Standing Medical Advisory Committee.


Sally would be pleased to hear from potential postgraduate students interested in research in the following areas:

European Health Policy

Cancer inequalities

Infection control policy (especially AMR)

The development of Pharmacoeconomics

Infection control policy

Sally is the Knowledge Mobilisation lead for the NIHR-funded Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging Zoonoses and Infections: HPRU EZI. She leads an MRC-funded COVID-19 project: Understanding the dynamics of policy development and healthcare worker behaviour in the UK during the Covid-19 public health emergency. This takes a novel approach through regularly interviewing a group of the key stakeholders (members of SAGE, PHE, DHSC) to understand policy issues in real time, paralleled with interviewing healthcare workers to understand their perspective of COVID-19 policy decisions, and the impact on their work. Key findings from both sets of interviewees are fed back to senior policymakers.



Liverpool Health Stories

This is a new collaborative project, bringing together public health researchers and oral storytelling experts, to improve understanding of health determinants and inequalities in the Liverpool City Region. The inaugural event was held on 29 October 2019, and included presentations from Stephen McGann, Daniel Morden, Prue Thimbleby and PJ. The project is currently paused during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research Grants

Covid-SMART Release & Return

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE (UK) (DOH/DHSC/NIHR)

February 2022 - July 2022

Re-Liv-E

DEPARTMENT FOR DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT (UK)

April 2021 - June 2021

The Development of Public Health Genomics Policy

PHG FOUNDATION (UK)

June 2020 - July 2022

NIHR ARC 2 national social care implementation projects

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE (UK) (DOH/DHSC/NIHR), LCCG - LIVERPOOL CLINICAL COMMISSIONING GROUP (UK)

October 2019 - September 2024

COVID-19: nCoV: Understanding the dynamics of policy development and healthcare worker behaviour in the UK during the Covid-19 public health emergency

UK RESEARCH AND INNOVATION (UKRI) (UK)

March 2020 - September 2021

Conference of the Society for the Social History of Medicine 2018: ‘Conformity, Dialogue and Deviance in Health and Medicine’, University of Liverpool 11-13 July 2018

WELLCOME TRUST (UK)

January 2018 - October 2019

2016 Allocation, Wellcome Trust ISSF 3

WELLCOME TRUST (UK)

October 2016 - March 2023

Start-up for Nosocomial Infection Study, plus Archive & Historical Work

UNILEVER UK CENTRAL RESOURCES LTD (UK)

November 2016 - June 2020

Paternal Child-Murder and Insanity in Victorian London, Manchester and Liverpool, 1837-1901

WELLCOME TRUST (UK)

September 2015 - September 2018

150 Years of Nursing in Liverpool.

LIVERPOOL JOHN MOORES UNIVERSITY (UK), ROYAL LIVERPOOL AND BROADGREEN UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS TRUST (UK)

March 2012 - June 2013

The governance of health: medical, economic and managerial expertise in Britain 1948-2010.

WELLCOME TRUST (UK)

January 2015 - May 2023

Fifty years of the National Health Service in the North West.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE (UK) (DOH/DHSC/NIHR)

January 1997 - December 2002

Research Collaborations

Nicky Duirs

External: Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust

Development of a bid for Heritage Lottery Fund grant to record the history of the current Royal Liverpool Hospital prior to its demolition and reconstruction.

expert working group

External: Phoenix TN

Member of PhoenixTN - an EU funded network focused on health and social welfare policy formation.
Co-ordinator of working group on expert advice in policy formation.