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Our Work

We will identify long-term systemic threats and opportunities within the health and social care systems; generate the evidence required to plan and respond to these; and help develop the conditions for evidence to be generated and used effectively by policy designers, decision-makers, funders and the media.
Gear icon - our work - REAL Supply

Part of the Health Foundation's REAL Centre, the Unit was established in the second half of 2022 bringing together three leading academic health, social care and labour economic research units in the UK alongside policy and knowledge mobilisation expertise to deliver an ambitious seven year research programme.


Working in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, including health and social care leaders, policymakers and the general public, the Unit aims to co-develop an economic research agenda which will equip the health and care systems with the evidence required to respond to major long-term challenges and improve the resilience, sustainability and equity of care provision.

Our Seven Year Programme

7 year plan - REAL Supply


At the end of Phase 1, the Unit will produce a Pathfinder Portfolio, a series of documents which present and examine opportunities for research that have the potential to drive impact in how decisions are  made in health and social care.


The purpose of the pathfinders is to help structure the Unit's Phase 2 research plan, presenting a summary of questions, knowledge and literature gaps, opportunities and challenges within broad thematic areas and topics developed in collaboration with health and care leaders and policy makers and informed by diverse perspectives, including those of the public. 

Pathfinders - REAL Supply

Pathways to Impact

The REAL Supply Research Unit seeks to bring about positive and lasting change in the H&SC sector by fostering collaboration and adapting its approach through inclusive practices and continuous learning. Here's our Theory of Change:

Inclusive Rigour

Across everything we do, we assume that an inclusive rigour approach must be simultaneously enacted, developed and enabled across all impact pathways in order to establish capacities and conditions for effective, equitable and ethical impact in Phase 2.

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

We believe excellence will be achieved through recognising the value of every individual. We are committed to developing a strong and enduring culture of equality and diversity and to promoting an inclusive culture, which celebrates difference, challenges prejudice and ensures fairness. Our ambition is to instil these values across the Unit and all its activities, as well as promoting them to our partner organisations. 

We recognise the existing inequalities and insufficient diversity within the research and stakeholder community. We seek to help address these in our work, supporting underrepresented groups and communities in having their voices heard, and in encouraging a diverse cohort of individuals working both within and alongside the Unit.

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