Preventonomics Unit Cost Calculator (PUCC)

Download the PUCC here (4.4 MB).

The PUCC was originally developed to support the A Better Start initiative, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, to understand the costs of the interventions the five participating sites are putting in place. The PUCC can help users, researchers and providers alike, to estimate the costs of their new – and existing –health and social care services. A guidance document, with screenshots to illustrate PUCC, is included in the PUCC download.

The PUCC can help you to estimate the cost of a single professional, but the exciting feature (exciting for us anyway!) is that you can build up the cost of a more complex intervention.  Perhaps where two professionals deliver two-hour weekly sessions to a group of families over a ten-week period; or where nurses, social workers and occupational therapists deliver an integrated package of treatment and care for someone who has just left hospital; or to estimate the impact on the cost of a course of cognitive behaviour therapy should different professionals deliver it.

The underlying method builds on the approach used in the Unit Costs of Health and Social Care volumes to help ensure the resulting unit costs calculated is a robust and systematic manner.  The programme has some default values already entered, however, we advise using your own local data so that the resulting unit costs better reflect your local circumstances. Importantly, the information entered here is stored in your database so you don’t have to enter this information again.

Key to PUCC is its capacity to generate more complex costs, such as interventions delivered by a number of different professionals. It allows you to enter information about how your intervention or service will be developed and delivered: staffing requirements, number of sessions or users, etc. You can draw in information about the professionals involved from the database.

Results can be displayed as Access reports, or exported to Excel in a spreadsheet format. This is especially useful for intervention cost data, which can be further analysed using pivot tables and graphs.

We believe that PUCC is a useful addition to the existing toolkit for developing and understanding unit costs data; we hope that users will agree.


We would like to thank everyone who has supported the development of the PUCC and the guidance. PUCC is only part of the Preventonomics Toolkit that supports the five A Better Start sites. Our aim has been to develop evidence-based tools to support the five A Better Start areas to:

  • understand the unit costs of the interventions they are putting in place
  • help track their area-level finance and outcomes data, and
  • provide an early estimate of the cost savings that could be made from their prevention interventions five and 30 years down the line.

Our thanks are extended to the Big Lottery Fund who commissioned us to undertake this work as part of their A Better Start initiative and we would like to thank the A Better Start team at BLF for their support. We would also like to thank the A Better Start site personnel who contributed their expertise and PSSRU colleagues who helped us with this work, particularly Lesley Curtis, Cate Henderson and Valentina Iemmi  who ‘road-tested’ earlier versions, and the members of the PSSRU cost-effectiveness cluster who provided feedback and advice.