Unit Costs: The Last Chapter

July 18, 2018

burns-amandaby Amanda Burns

Regular users of the Unit Costs of Health & Social Care report are likely to have a particular section they refer to for costs relating to their own subject area. For example, the sections with information relating to the costs of hospital-based staff (Sections 13, 14 and 15) are some of the most widely accessed. If you are interested in services for children and their families, Section 6 will be your go-to place.

However, by not delving further in to the report our readers are missing a cornucopia of useful information provided in order to enhance the information in the more specialised schema.

Lurking at the back of report like a dusty first edition in the back of a bookshop is a chapter entitled “List of items from previous volumes” and anecdotal evidence has suggested that many of our readers are unaware of its existence.

The Unit Costs of Health & Social Care report has been produced annually since our very first one back in 1992/3. In fact, our last report was the 25th edition!

In order to keep the report relevant and up-to-date we always remove any schema of costs which are more than 10 years old and for which there is no new information available, costs for services which are no longer provided or been replaced by a new service.

Examples of this are:

  • Care packages for adults with learning disabilities – removed in 2015 as our source data was over 10 years old and we were unable to find any new information.
  • Paramedic and emergency ambulance services – removed in 2008 but can now be found within hospital services NHS reference costs – schema 7.1.
  • Approved social worker – removed in 2011 as this role was abolished and replaced by approved mental health professional – now included within chapter 12 Health and Social Care teams.

Of course, if services are subsequently reintroduced, for whatever reason, we will note this too; e.g. children’s services which were withdrawn in the 2007 edition and were subsequently re-introduced in 2010.

We are always very keen to maintain as much useful, up-to-date information as we can – so if you discover, while reviewing this list, that there is some current cost information available, we would love to know.

In 2011, a study by Nicholas Christenfeld and Jonathan Levitt of UC San Diego’s psychology department suggested readers who turned to the back of the book to read the spoilers had more fun – so next time you pick up the UCHSC go ahead and see what you’ve been missing!