The High Sheriff of Cheshire Awards for Enterprise are well established within our region and culminate in an important date in the business year. Now in their 15th year, the High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise were introduced in 2006 by the then High Sheriff of Cheshire, David Briggs, MBE KStJ. The awards recognise outstanding achievements by enterprises in Cheshire, Halton and Warrington. HCD Economics launched its innovative business model in 2016 from its Daresbury base at the Sci-Tech Innovation Centre, a science and business hub located just outside Warrington.

The award is a partnership with the University of Chester, and in January 2022 their corporate communications team advised Jamie O’Hara, CEO of HCD Economics, that the company has been shortlisted as a finalist. The prize for Excellence in Enterprise will be awarded to the business that has achieved outstanding commercial success and sustainable growth.

HCD Economics has grown from the founding team of four to over fifty personnel today, providing an exciting career opportunity for economists, scientists and others drawn from the pool of commercial healthcare talent. Graduates and post-graduates entering their first employment following studies have also been important in the growth of HCD Economics. The median age of the staff is 35. Turnover has reached £6 million and the average growth since 2016 is 20% per annum.

Real World Evidence (RWE) has emerged since the early 2000’s as an essential category of objective data used to inform the allocation of healthcare resources. Alongside the gold standard of randomised clinical trial data (RCT), RWE draws upon the patient’s experience with their disease and established/new treatments. Health Economics and observational studies are academic research disciplines employed in the design and collection of RWE research. An increasing number of peer review publications recognising RWE as an emerging and important discipline were published in the last decade.

A number of business models in healthcare consultancy launched over the last twenty years in response to the need for RWE. HCD Economics was distinct in establishing, at the outset, formal contractual and mutually beneficial collaborations with not for profit partners. These include academia and Patient Groups organised as Charities. The academic collaboration upholds the ethical and rigour of research undertaken by HCD Economics. Results from this research are frequently published in peer-review journals, and HCD has many awards from medical societies.

The collaboration with Charities generates revenue for the charity and includes a programme of pro bono collaboration in support of enhancing and optimising the advocacy work that is the remit of patient groups. No other RWE consultancy is corporately committed in this way to the academic and patient community. Income generated by HCD Economics, distributed to the companies charitable/not for profit sector partners since 2016 has been in excess of £1m.

The company is proud to be located at Sci-Tech Daresbury Innovation Centre. The region is a rich source of recruitment, particularly from academic centres. Global expansion has led to the recent launch of a Spanish office and contractual engagements are in place for experts located throughout the EU and US.

Forecast for sustainable growth is based on the growing opportunities within the existing client portfolio of global pharmaceutical companies and the continuation of business development that identifies and recruits new corporate clients. Research innovation, employing novel health economic research protocols and research to optimise patient engagement contributes to the outstanding commercial success of HCD Economics. In January, HCD Economics joined forces with Prime Global.

The Sheriff’s Awards judges stated that their criteria included innovative practice or initiative as well as a willingness to undertake bold new ventures. Since 2016, HCD Economics has achieved sustainable growth and commercial success across the business, to levels that are outstanding for the size of our operation. Dr Gyles Brandreth, celebrated author, broadcaster, and Chancellor of the University of Chester, has agreed to be the Master of Ceremonies for the Awards evening.

Jamie says, ‘We serve to improve patient’s lives. I founded HCD Economics to combine my expertise in evidence generation and real-world insights with my passion for advocacy, our brilliant team are honoured to be shortlisted’.

For more information on the work of HCD Economics and for updates on further announcements regarding the High Sheriff of Cheshire Awards – please contact Alison Rose (