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The Nuffield Trust is registered with the Charity Commission as charity number 209169, and is a company limited by guarantee registered in England with company number 00382452. The patron is Anne, Princess Royal. The Chief Executive of the Trust is Nigel Edwards, expert advisor with KPMG’s Global Centre of Excellence for Health and Life Sciences and a Senior Fellow at the King's Fund, and the Chair of the Board is Andy McKeon.
The Nuffield Trust was established in December 1939 as the Nuffield Provincial Hospitals Trust by Viscount Nuffield (William Morris), the founder of Morris Motors. It was set up to coordinate the activities of all hospitals operating outside London and helped inspire the creation of the National Health Service. Indeed, one of its first tasks was a complete survey of hospitals, which was used as a key reference document in the establishment of the NHS.
In 1998 the Trust adopted the name The Nuffield Trust for Research and Policy Studies in Health Services, retaining "The Nuffield Trust" as its working name.
Areas of work
Since its foundation the Nuffield Trust has commissioned a wide range of research on how to improve the health system in the UK, for instance by a Rock Carling Fellowship.
In 1971, the epidemiologist Archie Cochrane received a Rock Carling Fellowship to write Effectiveness and efficiency: Random reflections on health services. He argued for greater use of randomised control trials in assessing medical evidence and led to the creation of Cochrane.
In 1976, the British public health scientist and health care critic, Thomas McKeown, MD, received the Rock Carling Fellowship, which allowed him to write The role of medicine: Dream, mirage or nemesis?. Therein he summarized facts and arguments that supported what became known as the McKeown's thesis, i.e. that the growth of population can be attributed to a decline in mortality from infectious diseases, primarily thanks to better nutrition, later also to better hygiene, and only marginally and late to medical interventions such as antibiotics and vaccins. McKeown was heavily criticized for his controversial ideas, but is nowadays remembered as 'the founder of social medicine'.
On 21 October 2015, the Trust launched a new five-year strategic plan, which outlines as priority areas of work:
- NHS and social care reform
- Quality of care
- The NHS workforce
- New models of health care delivery
- List of UK think tanks
- Social research
- Health and Social Care Act 2012
- National Health Service (England)
- Nigel Edwards, Nuffield Trust.
- Andy McKeon, Nuffield Trust.
- McLachlan, Gordon (December 1991). A history of the Nuffield Provincial Hospitals Trust 1940-1990. The Nuffield Trust. p. 9.
- Clark, Ronald W. (1972). A Biography of the Nuffield Foundation. London: Longman. p. 2. ISBN 9780582364875.
- McLachlan, p. 34.
- "Non-random reflections on health services research". Nuffield Trust. Nuffield Trust. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- Cochrane, Archie R. (1971). Effectiveness and Efficiency. Random Reflections on Health Services. London: The Nuffield Provincial Hospital Trust – via http://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/sites/files/nuffield/publication/Effectiveness_and_Efficiency.pdf.
- McKeown, Thomas (1976). The Role of Medicine: Dream, Mirage or Nemesis? (The Rock Carlington Fellow, 1976). London, UK: Nuffield Provincial Hospital Trust. ISBN 0-900574-24-0.
- Deaton, Angus (2013). The Great Escape. Health, wealth, and the origins of inequality. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press. pp. 91–93. ISBN 978 0 691 15354 4.
McKeown's views, updated to modern circumstances, are still important today in debates between those who think that health is primarily determined by medical discoveries and medical treatment and those who look to the background social conditions of life.
- "Improving UK health care: Nuffield Trust Strategy 2015 – 2020". Nuffield Trust. Retrieved 21 October 2015.