Professor Sheena Asthana
School of Law, Criminology and Government (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)
- Health services
- Health inequalities
- Health resource allocation
- Local government funding
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Having gained a First Class (congratulatory) degree in Geography from Oxford University and a PhD (in Community Medicine) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, I began my research career examining community-based health strategies for slum dwellers and people vulnerable to HIV/AIDS in India.
Personal circumstances (five children and two informally adopted!) necessitated a shift in focus to UK health and health care. I have since established a large programme of health policy and health services research, involving a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, collaboration across academic institutions, strong collaborative links with NHS constituencies, the use of extensive health service, public health and related datasets, and a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods.
I have been an applicant on around £11 million of funded research projects, attracting over £1.6 million as a principal investigator.
My research programme spans five broad areas: formula funding of English public services & health care equity; health inequalities and evidence based public health; community-based health development (including social prescribing), eHealth and health services evaluation/knowledge mobilisation.
My impact case study on the formula funding of public services was rated a 4* in REF 2014.
I am active in public and third sector governance, various board/committee appointments including the Commission for Rural Communities, the Royal Society for Public Health, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Change, Grow, Live and the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation. I am currently the Director of the Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research. Covering research in medicine, dentistry, biomedicine, nursing, midwifery, allied health professions, social work, psychology and health services research, this role is a joy and a challenge!
BA (Hons) in Geography. First Class (Congratulatory); St John’s College, Oxford, 1986
PhD in Community Medicine, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 1991
Roles on external bodies
2017 - Member, Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA) (DH)
2017 - Member, Commissioning Panel,Policy Research Programme (DH)
2017 - Trustee, Change Grow Live (national charity)
2016 - Non Executive Director, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) (DH)
2014-17 - Member of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA) (DH)
2014 - Member of the Advisory Group to‘The Project’ (NGO providing mental health support to children and young people)
2014 - Panel Member (Funding),Devon Community Foundation
2014 - Steering Group Member, Rural England
2012-15 - Council Member, Royal Society for Public Health
2012-15 - Trustee, Plymouth Age Concern
2011-15 - Member, Commissioning Panel, Policy Research Programme (DH)
2011-12 - Member, Community Organisers and Community First Expert Reference Group (Cabinet Office)
2007-13 - Member, Audit and Risk Committee,Commission for Rural Communities
2006-13 - Board Member, Commission for Rural Communities (DEFRA)
2006-2008 - Member, Policy and Management Group, Devon Rural Network
2006-2008 - Member, Rural Practice Standing Group, Royal College of General Practitioners
2005-2006 - Board Member, Countryside Agency (DEFRA)
2003-2006 - Advisory Editor, Social Science and Medicine
2001-2003 - Technical Advisor. Rural Health Allocations Forum
2000-2002 - Member, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Health Action Zone Steering Group
1999-2002 - Chair, Geography of Health Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society and the Institute of British Geographers
1999 - Visiting Lecturer, University of Turkku, Finland
1998-2002 - Member, Plymouth Health Action Zone Evaluation & Research Board
1997-2000 - Book Reviews Editor, Health and Place
1996-1999 - Secretary & Treasurer, Geography of Health Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society and the Institute of British Geographers
1995-2008 - Member, Editorial Board, Health and Place
Health policy; Social Justice; International Social Policy; Globalisation and health; Sustainability
Staff serving as external examiners
External Examiner (PhD), IDS, University of Sussex, 2013.
External Examiner (PhD), Northumbria University, 2011.
External Examiner (PhD), Department of Geography & Geosciences, University of St Andrews, 2008.
External Examiner (PhD), Department of Geography, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, May, 2000.
External Examiner (PhD), Dept of Urban Planning and Development, South Bank University, May 1999.
- Formula funding
- NHS resource allocation
- Health care inequalities
- Health inequalities
- Community-based strategies in health development (including HIV/AIDS)
Public service funding; police formula; local government funding; social care funding; evaluation
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
P. Evans: Urban Mosquitoes and Measures for their Control in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Awarded 1995; ESRC funded.
P. Vong-Ek. Factors Affecting the Incidence and Duration of Breastfeeding in Thailand: Implications for Health Promotion. Awarded 2000. WHO funded.
S. Burley. Changing Childbirth: the Role of Antenatal Services. Awarded 2004. University Scholarship, University of Plymouth.
S. Richardson.The Challenge of Interagency Information Sharing. A Systemic Analysis of Two Sure Start Children's Centres. Awarded 2007, ESRC funded
E. Williams. Non-Governmental Organizations and HIV/AIDS in Kolkata, India: A Discursive Analysis of Policy and Programming. Awarded 2009. ESRC funded.
Grants & contracts
R. Byng, S. Asthana. Evaluation of the organisational integration and implementation of new care models in South Devon and Torbay – using a researcher in residence model; £320,244; Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust, 2018-2020
K. Husk, S. Asthana, R Byng. VCSE Cornwall Social Prescribing Evaluation.£14,985; South West ASHN. 2018-20.
S Asthana and A Gibson. Children's services research project for MHCLG. LG Futures/MHCLC, £19,800; March 2018-February 2019.
R. Jones, S. Asthana, M. Phillips. Innovation in Healthy Ageing European Regional Development Fund, £81,982; September 2017-August 2018.
M. Paisey, R. Jones, S. Asthana et al. E-Health Productivity and Innovation in Cornwall (EPIC). European Regional Development Fund, £ 2,730,513; May 2017-April 2020.
S. Asthana, A. Gibson, P. Hewson. Fair funding for rural policing. National Rural Crime Network, £30,931; May-August, 2016
B. Benjamin, S. Asthana, R. Byng. How can multiple initiatives for integrated care improve experience and outcomes for patients with multiple long term conditions in the Torbay and South Devon area? Torbay Medical Research Fund,£161,286; 2016-2018
B. Benjamin, S. Asthana, R. Byng. Evaluation of new system model and development of system wide evaluation framework. £50,000; Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust, 2016-2017
R. Sheaff, P. Allen, J. Clark, R. Mannion, S. Asthana, A. Gibson, J. Halliday. Diverse Healthcare Providers: Behaviour in response to commissioners, patients and innovations, NIHR PRP, £482,758, 2015-17.
S. Asthana. Review of the Police Funding Formula. Police & Crime Commissioners Treasurers’ Society. £4,000. 2014.
R. Sheaff, J. Ovretveit, S, Peckham. R. Byng, M. Exworthy, S. Asthana. Integration and continuity in primary care: polyclinics and alternatives. NIHR (SDO), £414, 950, 2011-2014
S. Asthana, A. Gibson, T. Bailey, P. Hewson, C. Dibben, G. Moon. Equity of Access to Cardiac and Mental Health Services in England. NIHR (Health Services Research Programme), £279,517, 2011-2014.
S. Asthana and J. Halliday. Evaluation of the Peninsula Cancer Network Project for raising Skin Cancer Awareness and Prevention. Peninsula Cancer Network, £29,643, 2009-10
S. Asthana, A. Gibson, J. Halliday, P. Hewson. Resource Allocation in Statutory Service Provision: an Assessment of the Police and Fire Formulae. Rural Services Partnership, £20,222, 2008.
S. Asthana, A. Gibson, T. Bailey, C. Dibbens. Developing a resource allocation formula at General Practice level based on individual patient characteristics (Person-Based Resource Allocation): Mental Health. NIHR (Policy Research Programme), £191,216, 2008
A. Gibson and S. Asthana. Resource Allocation through the Local Government Finance Settlement: How Do Rural Areas Fare? Rural Services Partnership, £18,850, 2008.
C. Hyde, C. Meads, S. Bryan, P. Barton, D. Moore, C. Davenport, J, Parry, J. Deeks, J. Hawker, A. Fry-Smith, S. Bayliss, K. Stein, R. Andersen, N. Britten, R. Garside, S. Asthana, M. Somerville. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Centre for Public Health Excellence (CPHE) Public Health Collaborating Centre, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, £2,212,000; 2008-2011.
S. Asthana, A. Gibson, T. Bailey, C. Dibbens. The feasibility of developing an approach to Person Based Resource Allocation (PBRA) based on epidemiological data. NIHR (Policy Research Programme), £121,269, 2007.
A. Gibson and S. Asthana. NHS resource allocation: does West Sussex get its ‘fair share’? West Sussex County Council, £8,998,2007.
A. Gibson, S. Asthana, J. Flowers. A review of the weighted capitation formula and its funding impact on Primary Care Trusts in the East of England SHA. East of England Strategic Health Authority,£16,171, 2007.
S. Asthana. Meeting Health Needs in Rural Areas, Research Councils UK (Academic Fellowship), £125,000,2005-10.
S. Asthana. Our City’s Health: developing Practical Tool-kits for policies to address Health Inequalities. Plymouth PCT Public Health Department,£20,000, 2003-2004.
S. Asthana, P. Brigham, J. Halliday, A. Gibson, I. Mackenzie, J. Dicker, G. Floyd, G. Moon. Review of the Effectiveness of measuring Rural Deprivation. South West Public Health Observatory, £24,934. 2001.
S. Asthana, A. Gibson, G. Moon, P. Brigham and J. Halliday. Health Resource Allocation: What Case can be made for Rurality? Rural Health Allocations Forum, £59,214.2001-2002.
S. Asthana, A. Gibson, J. Halliday, J. Dixon, G. Moon. Evaluation of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Health Action Zone, £438,751, 2000-2002.
S. Asthana, J. Chandler, J. Dixon and J. Halliday, Partnership Working in Plymouth HAZ, Plymouth HAZ, £65,000, 2000-2002.
S. Asthana, G. Moon, J. Dicker and A. Gibson. Inequalities in Health Service Utilization at the General Practice Level. Economic and Social Research Council, £81,481. 1999-2001.
S. Asthana. The additional costs of delivering health and social services in remote and rural areas. Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Health Authority, £16,500. 1999.
S. Asthana. Health Needs and Service Deficiencies within Plymouth Health Action Zone. Plymouth Health Action Zone and University of Plymouth, £78,000.1998-2001
A. Gibson, S. Asthana and E. Wragg. Parental Choice, Selection by Ability and a ‘Free Market’ in Education: Raising Educational Standards or the Social Polarization of Schools? The Nuffield Foundation. £39,700. 1997-1999.
S. Asthana and A. Gibson. GP Fund holding and the Provision of Primary Health Care: A Socio-Spatial Analysis. University of Plymouth, QR Funds, £18,000. 1996-1997.
S. Asthana.. Community Participation in HIV Prevention and Care in Madras. Nuffield Foundation, £1,540. 1993.
Key publications are highlightedJournals
Other academic activities
Expert witness or consultancy work
External expert, National Audit Office, Landscape Review on Formula Funding, 2011.
Written and oral evidence presented to the All Party Parliamentary Group (Rural Services) Enquiry on Resource Allocation, 9th February, 2010.
External expert, DEFRA Evidence Investment Strategy, 2009. Written and oral evidence presented to the Health Select Committee’s Inquiry on NHS Deficits, 19th October, 2006
Technical Advisor on Resource Allocation to Rural Health Allocation Project Team, 2001-2003.