Smarter spending for population health: using the STAR tool for allocative efficiency

Two-session course: 12/01/23 and 26/01/23

Smarter spending for population health: using the STAR tool for allocative efficiency

Two-session course: 12th January – 26th January 2023

In this course Jack Ettinger, Senior Health Economist, and Sophie Hodges, Lead Client Service Manager, from the Health Economics Unit will go in depth on how efficiency in healthcare can be conceptualised and how principles of allocative efficiency can help to maximise value and ultimately increase the health of a population. They will then run through a technique that can be used to put this principle into practice in decision-processes: Socio-technical allocation of resources (STAR) method.

This course is pertinent to those considering how resources can best be placed to improve the health of the population and how an approach, rooted in health economics, approaches that question.



An introduction to Allocative Efficiency and STAR - 12/01/23

12th January 2023, 9.00-11.00

This session is designed to give participants an understanding of the role of efficiency in decision making around health and health care and how allocative efficiency can be operationalised, through the STAR method, as part of decision prioritisation and in the PHM cycle. This session will cover:

  • What do we mean by efficiency in healthcare?
    • Technical efficiency
    • Allocative efficiency
  • Why is allocative efficiency important in PHM and resourcing decisions?
  • How the STAR method can be used by health planners when determining priorities and as part of the PHM cycle.
  • How patient perspectives can be included in the STAR process.

A trip to a Caribbean Island - 26/01/23

26th January 2023, 9.00-11.00

How do you decide what to do on holiday? This session is designed to give participants a working knowledge of the STAR approach with a practical and fun example of its use.

This session will introduce participants to a simple way of valuing interventions using health economic techniques and an overview of how the STAR tool can be used to support decision making. This session will cover:

  • Recap on STAR process and tool
  • Valuing holiday activities using the STAR tool
  • Presentation of results
  • Examples of applications of the STAR tool


You don’t need to have attended previous training courses to understand this one

This course is designed to give valuable insights for employees across an ICS, whether you’re analytical or not. There will be practicals, interactivity and useful examples of systems working together, and plenty of opportunity for discussion and questions.

Learning outcomes

  • An understanding of the role of allocative efficiency in population health management.
  • An appreciation of the need for methods assessing the efficiency of care pathways and health systems.
  • The ability to articulate the concept of allocative efficiency and the STAR method.
  • The ability to undertake an allocative efficiency analysis and to assess differing interventions, using a STAR tool


This course is free and available to all those working in the health and care sector , e.g. NHS, public health, local authority, ICBs.

2 hours
9.00 – 11.00 am


  • 12/01/23
  • 26/01/23

Online – delivered via Teams

Registration now closed.

About the trainers

Jack Ettinger, health economist

Jack is a health economist with experience working in service delivery, commissioning, and NHS policy. He is the technical lead for the Smarter Spending in Population Health programme. He has been involved in the creation of national policy and strategy and has supported the management of the allocation decision process whilst at Specialised Commissioning.

He has a special interest in how economic principles, such as allocative efficiency, can help to improve population health. Jack is also completing an MSc in Public Health with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Sophie Hodges, lead client service manager

With a background in population health management, Sophie is passionate about providing better evidence to improve decision making in healthcare. She is the programme lead for the Smarter Spending in Population Health programme at the HEU. She has a first-class degree in Economics with Econometrics (BSc) from the University of Kent and will soon complete a masters in Health Data Analytics (MSc) from UCL. Sophie also has experience in building communities of practice supporting analytical upskilling and developing system intelligence functions



For more information about this course, please contact:

Training & Development Operational Lead, Rachel Caswell