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School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Mark Hellowell

Mark Hellowell
Dr Mark Hellowell
Senior Lecturer
2.20 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
0131 6511330
Research Interests
Public/private interface in health and health systems


Mark's research programme focuses on the public/private interface in healthcare financing and provision. In addition to publishing in a diverse array of peer-reviewed journals, he has disseminated his findings through a variety of media, including the BBC's Panorama, The Guardian and the Financial Times. He gives regular interviews to national print and broadcast media on public policy issues, and has provided oral and written evidence to both UK and Scottish parliamentary select committees. He is special adviser to the House of Commons Treasury Committee in relation to its ongoing inquiries into the use of private finance in public services, and an adviser to the World Bank on market systems approaches in healthcare. He provides postgraduate teaching on health systems strengthening, working within the Global Public Health Unit and the Academy of Government, and is keen to supervise PhD students who are interested in the role of the private sector in health care.

Peer-reviewed publications

Hellowell, M. (2015), 'Analysis: Borrowing to save: can NHS bodies ease financial pressures by terminating PFI contracts?', BMJ,

Hellowell, M. & Ralston, M. (2015), The equity implications of health system change in the UK,  in Smith, K., Hill, S. & Bambra, C. (eds.). Health Inequalities: Critical Perspectives. Oxford University Press, 11. See:

Colla, P, Hellowell, M, Vecchi, V and Gatti, S. (in press), 'Determinants of the cost of capital for privately financed hospital projects in the UK', Health Policy. DOI:

Hellowell, M and Vecchi, V. (2015), 'The Non-Incremental Road to Disaster? Agency Problems in the Commissioning of Infrastructure Projects in the UK and Italy', Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, DOI: 10.1080/13876988.2015.1016773

Hellowell, M, Vecchi, V and Caselli, S. (2015), 'Return of the state? An appraisal of policies to enhance access to credit for infrastructure-based PPPs', Public Money and ManagementVolume 35Issue 1, pp. 35:1, 71-78, DOI: 10.1080/09540962.2015.986898

Hellowell, M. (2013). 'PFI Redux?: Assessing a New Model for Financing Hospitals', Health policy, 113(1-2), 77-85, DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2013.09.008.

Vecchi, V, Hellowell, M, Gatti, S. (2013), 'Does the private sector receive an excessive return from investments in health care infrastructure projects? Evidence from the UK', Health Policy. Vol. 110, issue 2, pp. 243-270.

Vecchi, V and Hellowell, M. (2013), 'Leasing by public authorities in Italy: creating economic value from a balance sheet illusion', Public Money & Management, Vol. 33, No.1, pp. 63-70.

Vecchi, V and Hellowell, M. (2012), 'Securing a Better Deal from Investors in Public Infrastructure Projects: Insights from Capital Budgeting', Public Management Review.

Hellowell, M and Vecchi, V. (2012), 'What return for Risk? The Price of Equity Capital in Public-Private Partnerships'. In Greve, C and Hodge, G (eds), Rethinking Public-Private Partnerships: Strategies for Turbulent Times, Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routlege, ch. 3

Smith, K and Hellowell, M. (2012), 'Beyond Rhetorical Differences: A Cohesive Account of Post-devolution Developments in Health Policy', Social Policy and Administration, Vol.46, No.2, p.178-198.

Hellowell, M and Vecchi, V. (2012), 'An evaluation of the projected returns to investors on 10 PFI projects commissioned by the National Health Service', Financial Accountability and Management, Vol.28, No.1, p.77-100.

Hellowell, M and Vecchi, V. (2010), 'Are Italian healthcare organisations paying too much for their public private partnerships?', Public Money and Management. Vol. 30(2), pp. 125-132.

Hellowell, M and Pollock, AM. (2010), 'Do PPPs in social infrastructure enhance the public interest?', Australian Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 69, No. S1, pp. S23-S34.

Hellowell, M. (2010), 'The private finance initiative: policy, performance and prospects'. In Hodge, G, Greve, C and Boardman, A, International Handbook on Public-Private-Partnerships. Edward Elgar.

Hellowell, M and Pollock, AM. (2009), 'The private financing of NHS hospitals: politics, policy and practice', Economic Affairs. Vol.29. No.1, pp.13-19.

Hellowell, M and Pollock, AM. (2009), 'Non-profit distribution: the Scottish approach to private finance in public services', Social Policy and Society. Vol 8 (3), pp. 405-418.

Hellowell, M and Pollock AM. (2007), 'The PFI: Scotland's Plan for Expansion and its Implications', Public Money and Management. Vol. 27 (5), pp. 351-255.

Recent reports

Hellowell, M (2014), The return of PFI – will the NHS pay a higher price for new hospitals? London: The Centre for Health and the Public Interest. Available:

Hellowell, M (2014), 'PPPs and economic growth in developing countries', In Robertson, A and Jones-Parry, J (eds), Governance and Growth 2014, London: Commonwealth Sectretariat.

Hellowell, M (2012), 'The role of public-private partnerships in health systems'. In Robertson, A and Jones-Parry, R (eds), Commonwealth Health Partnership 2012, London: Commonwealth Secretariat, p. 71-73.

Hellowell, M, Vecchi, V (2009), 'The cost-efficiency of private finance in public healthcare: evidence from the UK and Italy', Mecosan Review, CERGAS: Milan.

Amatucci F., Hellowell, M and Vecchi, V (2008), 'Il project finance: quali lezioni dalle esperienze internazionali?'. In Pessina, E, Cantù E (eds) 'L'aziendalizzazione della sanità in Italia: rapporto', Milan: Egea.


Mark is Programme Director of all three of GPHU's health policy MSc degrees.

He is also Course Organiser for three MSc courses: Health Systems Analysis, Health Systems Analysis (online) and Health Systems: Strengthening and Reform.

He is also a lecturer on the MSc course Economic Issues in Public Policy and teaches on the Masters of Public Policy (MPP), run by the School's Academy of Government. Mark holds a PhD in Health Policy, an MSc in Finance, an Masters in Public Policy, and a Postgraduate Certificate in University Teaching. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.



Topics interested in supervising

I am keen to supervise PhD students with an interest in the role of the private sector in health systems.

If you are interested in being supervised by Mark Hellowell, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in International Public Health Policy; MSc (R) Public Health Policy; MSc (R) Social Policy