Swapping the Lab for the Lords

Health professor Professor Darrin Baines of the Centre for Technology Enabled Health swaps his usual setting for the environment of policymakers this week.

The Professor – an expert in the economics of the NHS from the University’s Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research – is spending a number of days in Westminster shadowing Lord Prior of Brampton, the minister for NHS productivity, and his civil servants.

The Royal Pairing Scheme provides policymakers and research scientists with an opportunity to experience each other’s worlds.

“Each year 30 research scientists are paired with UK parliamentarians and civil servants. They learn about each other’s work by spending time together in Westminster and the researcher’s labs.”  – The Royal Society

This unique initiative will provide Professor Baines with a behind-the-scenes insight into how policy is formed and how his research can be used to make evidence-based decisions, and Lord Prior himself will have an opportunity to use the professor’s expertise to investigate the science behind decisions.

“I’m very excited about this week, as one of my main research interests is around healthcare efficiency and how academia can influence public policy, particularly in relation to the NHS. Lord Prior’s responsibility for NHS productivity makes him one of the UK’s key influencers in this area, so to be able to share in some of his day to day experiences and then share our work with him is a wonderful opportunity for Coventry University.” – Professor Baines

At a later date Lord Prior will conduct a reciprocal visit with Professor Baines, during which he will see the work carried out by the Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research, the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences and other areas.

“This is a great initiative which will give both of us a flavour of each other’s roles, and I’m confident it will strengthen links between academia and healthcare policy-making and will help position Coventry at the forefront of that relationship.“


Join Professor Baines on twitter @…….. to share his experiences of life at Westminster, his work with Lord Prior and his part in the pairing scheme.



Coventry University