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Cost-effectiveness of England’s national ‘Safe At Home’ scheme for reducing hospital admissions for unintentional injury in children aged under 5


Background Injuries in children aged under 5 years most commonly occur in the home and disproportionately affect those living in the most disadvantaged communities. The ‘Safe at Home’ (SAH) national home safety equipment scheme, which ran in England between 2009 and 2011, has been shown to reduce injury-related hospital admissions, but there is little evidence of cost-effectiveness.

Materials and methods Cost-effectiveness analysis from a health and local government perspective. Measures were the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio per hospital admission averted (ICER) and cost-offset ratio (COR), comparing SAH expenditure to savings in admission expenditure. The study period was split into three periods: T1 (years 0–2, implementation); T2 (years 3–4) and T3 (years 5–6). Analyses were conducted for T2 versus T1 and T3 versus T1.

Results Total cost of SAH was £9 518 066. 202 223 hospital admissions in the children occurred during T1-3, costing £3 320 000. Comparing T3 to T1 SAH reduced admission expenditure by £924 per month per local authority and monthly admission rates by 0.5 per local authority per month compared with control areas. ICER per admission averted was £4209 for T3 versus T1, with a COR of £0.29, suggesting that 29p was returned in savings on admission expenditure for every pound spent on SAH.

Conclusion SAH was effective at reducing hospital admissions due to injury and did result in some cost recovery when taking into admissions only. Further analysis of its cost-effectiveness, including emergency healthcare, primary care attendances and wider societal costs, is likely to improve the return on investment further.

  • child survival
  • economic analysis
  • passive safety
  • costs

Data availability statement

Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. The data used in this study are available in the SAIL Databank at Swansea University, Swansea, UK, but as restrictions apply, they are not publicly available. All proposals to use SAIL data are subject to review by an independent Information Governance Review Panel (IGRP). Before any data can be accessed, approval must be given by the IGRP. The IGRP gives careful consideration to each project to ensure proper and appropriate use of SAIL data. When access has been granted, it is gained through a privacy protecting safe haven and remote access system referred to as the SAIL Gateway. SAIL has established an application process to be followed by anyone who would like to access data via SAIL at The HES Data (copyright 2021) was reused with the permission of the Health and Social Care Information Centre. All rights reserved. Data sharing agreement number DARS-NIC-50919-D5R5D-V1.4.

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