Relationship marketing in the NHS: will it bring the buyers and suppliers together again?

Michael J. Hatton (Forest Healthcare NHS Trust, Whipps Cross Hospital, London, UK)
Brian P. Mathews (Faculty of Business, University of Luton, Luton, UK)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Publication date: 1 April 1996


Working for Patients (1989), implemented in 1991, introduced into the National Health Service (NHS) the purchaser‐provider split, which created an “internal market” for health care. The key feature of this internal market was the concept of buying and selling of health services, with competition between provider units for the “business” of purchasers. Turning to industry where buying and selling has always been normal practice between organizations, this paper looks at a strategy that may help provider units to survive in this new marketplace. An examination of buyer‐supplier relationships focuses on the specific organizational strategy of relationship marketing as a potential way forward.



Hatton, M. and Mathews, B. (1996), "Relationship marketing in the NHS: will it bring the buyers and suppliers together again?", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 41-47.

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Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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