What we do
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The Policy Innovation Research Unit (PIRU) brings together leading health and social care expertise to improve evidence-based policy-making and its implementation across the National Health Service, social care and public health. 

The Unit is funded by the Policy Research Programme of the Department of Health.

We strengthen early policy development by exploiting the best routine data and by subjecting initiatives to speedy, thorough evaluation. We also help to optimise policy implementation across the Department of Health’s responsibilities.

Build evidence for policy

Our team of researchers from leading research institutions work with policy and decision-makers in the Department of Health (DH), the NHS, local government and beyond. Together, we produce rigorous research evidence to inform the early stages of policy innovation.

Strengthen evaluation

We focus on evaluation methods and evaluative studies (for example, of pilots and other forms of structured innovation) initiated at an early stage of national policy development. Our work spans the entire DH portfolio of health services, social care and public health policy.

Support implementation

We have good working relationships with policy and analytical staff in the Department of Health, NHS England, Public Health England and other national agencies. Ideally we will be involved from the earliest stage of policy development working with DH staff on the evidence-influenced design of initiatives and their evaluations. We will strengthen the Department’s ability to use evidence from previous research.

PIRU's progress report covering January 2011 to August 2014 is available here >>