Health and Social Care Delivery Research (HSDR)

Sheffield Evidence Synthesis Centre

Completed projects

Warmer Housing: what are the choices?

Energy inefficient homes can contribute to excess winter mortality (EWM) which is a long-standing UK public health concern: the UK performs comparatively poorly with some of the least energy efficient housing in Western Europe.

The purpose of this briefing is to inform deliberations among policymakers and stakeholders. It summarises the best available evidence regarding the design and implementation of policies for reducing the health impact of cold homes, particularly during UK winter months. 

Research briefing

Risk assessment in mental health of children and young people with a focus on suicidality

Suicide prevention is a key priority of the NHS Long Term Plan (NHS, 2019). In the most recently available figures (from 2019) a total of 5,961 deaths by suicide were registered in England and Wales (ONS, 2019). This is consistent with 2018, but is a significant increase following several years of decline, with rates of self-harm and suicide increasing amongst certain groups, e.g. young women (ONS, 2019). The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health (NCISH) annual report indicates that over a quarter of people who die by suicide have been in contact with mental health services within the last year (NCISS, 2021). Predicting and managing risk is a central component of mental health care in the UK. Risk assessments are used to assess an individual's risk of harm to themselves and others and guide clinicians' predictions of future behaviour and may be used as part of a broader assessment to inform treatment planning (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2014). 

The focus of this review is for whom and in what circumstances do risk assessment change the clinical encounter for children and adolescents, and what effect does this have on their mental health outcomes. 

See report

See rapid review report

How different approaches to signposting impact services for people with health and social care needs

Signposting is frequently undertaken by receptionists within general practice to triage patients and then signpost patients to the correct professional, service or activity within health or social care. This review will focus on two key questions: 

1) How do different approaches to signposting impact on services for people with health and social care needs? What works best, for whom, in what circumstances and why? 

2) Are there any benefits from implementing options in combination? 

Further information available at the NIHR Funding and Awards page.

What Interventions have been used in the UK in response to Winter Pressures?

Winter pressures are a familiar phenomenon within the NHS and represent the most extreme of many regular demands placed on health and social care service provision. This mapping review focuses on interventions or initiatives in relation to winter pressures in the United Kingdom with either discharge planning to increase smart discharge (both a reduction in patients waiting to be discharged and patients being discharged to the most appropriate place) and/or integrated care (better co-ordination between health and social care).

Research briefing

See medRxiv journal article

Assessment and management pathways of older people with mild cognitive impairment

This study identified barriers to diagnosis of memory problems, such as reluctance to seek help and limited availability of advanced diagnostic tests, and highlighted the importance of a timely diagnosis.

See report

Evidence summary

Increasing vaccination of healthcare workers: A rapid review of intervention effectiveness, and factors influencing uptake during seasonal and pandemic influenza

This rapid review forms part of a wider review of organisational-level interventions to enhance the health and wellbeing of healthcare workers during times of increased demand for services. This synthesis focuses on the literature relating to the vaccination of staff during times of seasonal and pandemic influenza.

See report (PDF, 932KB)

Briefing summary (PDF, 628KB)

Social care access for BAME and LGBT+ populations: A rapid realist review

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) identified 'inequalities within adult social care' as a priority research area and have commissioned an evidence review to support primary research and evaluation differences in provision and experience of adult social care in England. The focus of this review will be on access to adult social care and will include access for BAME adults and LGBT+ adults.

See report

System-level interventions to support staff physical and mental wellbeing during times of particular pressure or crisis in health services

What is the evidence of effectiveness of system-level interventions to support staff physical and mental wellbeing during times of particular pressure or crisis in health services?

See report

Briefing summary (PDF, 613KB)

Recognition of risk and prevention in safeguarding of children and young people

What interventions are feasible/acceptable, effective and cost effective in:

See report

Briefing summary (PDF, 125KB)

Distance to emergency care

What is the evidence on the relationship between distance/time to an emergency care facility and outcomes for patients? Are service changes that increase the distance for some patients associate with the increased risk of adverse outcomes?

See report

Briefing summary (PDF, 113KB)

Preventable hospital admissions

With regard to the implementation of interventions to reduce preventable hospital admissions for cardiovascular and respiratory conditions: what works, for whom, how, and in what circumstances?

See report

Briefing summary (PDF, 113KB)

Digital health

How safe and clinically effective are digital and online symptom checkers and how do they impact on demand for services, patient compliance with advice received and cost effectiveness?

See report

Briefing summary (PDF, 101KB)

Emergency and urgent care for vulnerable groups

What interventions exist to manage use of emergency and urgent care by people from vulnerable groups?

See report

Briefing summary (PDF, 279KB)

Access to health care services

What are the barriers to accessing health care services for people with learning disabilities and what interventions or models of service provision aim to improve access?

See report

Congenital heart disease

What evidence is there for a relationship between organisational features and patient outcomes in congenital heart disease services? 

See report

Measuring nursing input, workload, activity and care

What research is currently being undertaken in nurse staffing and what gaps exist in the research literature?

See report (PDF, 653KB)

Group clinics

What is the evidence for the feasibility, appropriateness, meaningfulness, effectiveness and cost effectiveness of group clinics for patients with chronic conditions?

See report

Models of urgent care

What evidence is there on the effectiveness of different models of urgent care?

See report

Diagnostic services

Evidence for models of diagnostic service provision in the community.

See report

Briefing summary (PDF, 411KB)

Contact tracing

Interventions to improve contact tracing for tuberculosis (TB) in specific groups and in wider populations: an evidence synthesis

See report

Frail older people in the emergency department

See report

Briefing summary (PDF, 147KB)

Achievements and learning from the first three-year programme

In collaboration with York Evidence Synthesis Centre.

See report

Briefing summary (PDF, 363KB)

See all ongoing projects

Please contact Katie Lewis ( if you are experiencing any issues accessing the documents.