Toby Watt Senior Economist

REAL Centre team

Toby runs the health and care demand work for the REAL Centre: focusing on in depth econometric analysis of large data sets. In a new programme of work, in partnership with the University of Liverpool, we are developing a microsimulation model of health care demand. This will analyse trends in non-communicable disease, treatment and health care utilisation across the NHS. This model will include the ever changing inputs of population risk factors, health care technology, improvement in health care outcomes and multi-morbidity.

We hope this model will help us to understand the changing burden of disease in the UK, allowing health, social care and public policy makers to make informed long-term decisions about the future health of the population.

Toby has developed expertise in the use of primary care data, primarily in the analysis of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on primary care utilisation using the patient level data.

Under the Bloomsbury Colleges scholarship, Toby is completing a PhD part time on Public Health Economics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is analysing the impact of food and drink price promotions on population health. 

Toby worked in competition economics at a consultancy for two years before moving to the Health Foundation. He has been a tutor in econometrics for the MSc Economics course at Birkbeck, University of London. 

Toby gained a first in Economics from the University of Bristol and a distinction in the MSc Economics programme at University College London. 


Research report

Securing the future: funding health and social care to the 2030s

May 2018
Research report

This research looks at how much health spending would need to rise to provide the level of service...

Research report

The path to sustainability

October 2016
Research report

This report analyses the demand and cost pressures facing the NHS in Wales up to 2019/20 and in the...

Watt T, Charlesworth A, Gershlick B. (2019) Health and care spending and its value, past, present and future. Future Healthcare Journal, 6(2), 99-105. doi:10.7861/futurehosp.6-2-99

Watt, T., Beckert, W., Smith, R., & Cornelsen, L. (2020). Reducing consumption of unhealthy foods and beverages through banning price promotions: What is the evidence and will it work? Public Health Nutrition, 23(12), 2228-2233. doi:10.1017/S1368980019004956

Latest articles


Use of primary care during the COVID-19 pandemic: May 2021 update


There have been dramatic shifts in primary care activities and outcomes in response to the COVID-19...

REAL Centre


Use of primary care during the COVID-19 pandemic


There have been dramatic shifts in primary care activities and outcomes in response to the COVID-19...


Understanding excess deaths: variation in the impact of COVID-19 between countries, regions and localities


This analysis compares the impact of COVID-19 in different countries, regions and localities through...

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