Professor Colin Sanderson
MA MSc PhD
of Operational Research in Health Care
15-17 Tavistock Place
My first degrees were in engineering and management science. After a spell in the early 70's developing dynamic policy models using hybrid computers, and 3 years in the NHS as a systems analyst, I joined LSHTM as a lecturer in statistics. I left to do a PhD in Cambridge, but returned a few years later as a senior lecturer in health services research. To begin with my research was concerned the organisation of health care, including comparative European studies, and the appropriate use in the NHS of elective surgery. One large Department of Health Grant was for the National Centre for Health Outcomes Development, which for 9 years provided the NHS with comparative data on activity and peformance. In the late 1990s a demand for policy modelling emerged, and I led on the development a model for coronary heart disease for DH, and then a dynamic model for cost-effectiveness of new children's vaccines for DfID. Since then I have worked mainly on decision-support models for vaccines in lower and middle income countries. I was Departmental Director of Research Degrees from 2003-2007, chair of the exam board for the MSc Public Health from 2007-2012, and appointed Professor in 2010.
Please note that I am now partially retired and am not taking on any new research degree supervision.
At one stage or another I have taught Operational Research, Statistics, Epidemiology, Health Care Evaluation and Needs Assessment. However my main interest is in teaching about model-building (mainly, but not exclusively, quantitative) to support decision-making in health care. I have developed and organise a study unit on this, with a book to support the distance learning version. I am a member of the Higher Education Academy.
One strand has been the use of quantitative models for developing a shared understanding of problems and for predicting the likely outcomes of pursuing different policies or options. After a period of work for the Department of Health for England on modelling the prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease in England, my more recent focus has been on modelling related to decisions about new vaccines for children in middle and lower income countries, mainly for PAHO and WHO Geneva. The emphasis of much of this has been on helping national policy makers with studies of cost-effectiveness, but it has also involved work on the impact of different vaccine schedules, and on the balance of benefit and risk for rotavirus vaccines.
Another strand has been allocation of health care resources to meet needs. This has involved work in a range of areas from the micro (eg indications for surgery and prognostic models to support for clinical decision-making) to the intermediate (needs assessment for and by health care purchasing organisations) to the macro (formulae for allocating national resources to organisations purchasing care for local populations). I am a member of the UK Department of Health's Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation.