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Lead investigators Professor Angela Tod, Professor Geoff Green and Professor Chris Bentley
Funded by NIHR - Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research (CLAHRC-SY)
Dates August 2012 - December 2013

The Abacus Model

The Abacus team based at Sheffield Hallam University is here to assist decision-takers on Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs). We have expertise in interpreting scientific evidence on the determinants of health and the 'best buy' programmes to maximise health outcomes for local populations. HWBs are strategic forums, and our strength is in strategic solutions. Our toolkit of resources guides commissioning and delivery, economics, and action plans for nine cost effective interventions. We back it up with key research evidence.

Abacus Resources

A number of documents have been developed by the Abacus team and are freely available for download. These are intended to help organisations in achieving fuel poverty and excess winter death outcomes. Members of the Abacus team are also available to provide facilitation to organisations regarding the implementation of the Abacus model and nine interventions.

For more information please contact

Rea Smith at

Abacus Prospectus

This document outlines the ambition of the Abacus team, and illustrates how adopting a whole systems approach can help organisations achieve outcomes regarding fuel poverty and excess winter deaths. The document summarises the Abacus capability and resilience model which outlines nine core interventions we recommend to address fuel poverty and excess winter deaths. Click here to download the document.

Abacus Presentation

This PowerPoint document presents a summary of the theoretical background and evidence underpinning the Abacus capability and resilience model and recommended nine interventions. It also provides the core materials to explain the application of the nine interventions in commissioning and delivery of services. Click here to download the presentation.

Abacus Calculating the Social Cost of Cold Homes

Working as a member of the Abacus project Dr Bernard Stafford has derived empirical estimates of the social cost associated with the health impacts of cold homes, which distinguish between the loss of well-being suffered by those afflicted and the costs that fall on others in terms of health and social care expenditures and the loss of economic output. A report of this work has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Public Health.

Measurably Reducing Fuel Poverty, Excess Winter Deaths and Illness in Populations

These two documents describe the Abacus approach to measurably reducing fuel poverty, excess winter deaths and disease, including mental ill health. The work adopts a whole systems approach to achieve an impact at a population level. The documents contain more detail regarding the underpinning evidence theory and abacus capability and resilience model.

The Commissioning Module

The first module aims to support processes for joint commissioning of services and supports within a local authority area. Click here to download the document.

The Delivery Module

The second module makes recommendations about how providers of services commissioned to address the issue can overcome issues of system and scale, to have the best possible impact at population level. Click here to download the document.


The Abacus project was developed and funded through the support of the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care - South Yorkshire (CLAHRC-SY)

Project Team

Catherine Homer - Research Fellow, MA, BSc, (Honours)
Dr Bernard Stafford - Visiting Research Fellow
Dr Paul Redgrave - Consultant in Public Health
Jan Gilbertson - Senior Research Fellow
Professor Chris Bentley - Public Health Consultant FRCP, FFPH
Professor Geoff Green - Emeritus Professor of Urban Policy, BA, MA

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