Coastal Communities social policy, social workers, teenage youth group therapy
Are robust mechanisms in place to ensure our public services are resourced in line with public values? 
Researchers led by Professor Sheena Asthana and Dr Alex Gibson have worked for nearly two decades to research formula funding and resource allocation. In this, the status quo has been challenged, with technical errors, a lack of transparency and considerable inequity revealed. 
The researchers discovered that coastal communities have been underfunded across a range of government sectors.

Addressing funding inequalities

Person Based Resource Allocation (PBRA) for Health and Mental Health Budgets

Professor of Health Policy, Sheena Asthana, has worked for over 10 years studying the funding models and policies of public health in England. Her body of research informed the setting of practice-level budgets in the NHS from 2009–11, accounting for approximately £8 billion of funding, and paved the way for a more equitable allocation of NHS resources that can still be seen today. Professor Asthana’s work has been crucial to informing parliamentary debate around the allocations of health and local government funding from central government.
D-PACT: Carer and elderly woman communicating remotely on tablet

Resource Allocation Using the Four-Block Model

Following Professor Asthana’s success in identifying better funder models for NHS resource allocation, she and Dr Alex Gibson took this experience to look at other public service funding models. Together they demonstrated that the model was deeply flawed and generated inequitable allocation of a major source of local authority revenue. This work seriously damaged the credibility of the method in allocating revenue support to local authorities and largely contributed to the decision to end the four-block model.
Nurse comforting patient

Digital inequity: a major health risk in coastal Britain

“Coastal communities...have some of the worst health outcomes in England, with low life expectancy and high rates of many major diseases.”  
Professor Sir Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer's Annual Report 2021
Researchers at the University of Plymouth, including Professor Ray Jones, Professor Katharine Willis and Professor Sheena Asthana – who contributed to the Chief Medical Officer's Report – have been working to address digital inequities and poor health outcomes in our coastal communities.

Read more about our work targeting digital inequity
coastal community - getty
Coastal communities