Determining priorities for purchasers: The public response to rationing within the NHS

Ann Richardson (Independent Consultant, London, UK)

Journal of Management in Medicine

ISSN: 0268-9235

Publication date: 1 August 1997


There is currently great interest in how best to consult the public on purchasing priorities, but little information about the results of such activity. Based on health panels set up by Somerset Health Authority, intends to rectify this gap. The public were found to strongly favour universality of treatment, regardless of the cause of a condition, the age of the patient or the cost, although people should take some responsibility for their own health. There is a reluctance to purchase treatment for people who are not ill, although resources are well spent on health promotion and advice services. Argues that ordinary members of the public are capable of exploring complex funding priorities. A qualitative approach is essential to provide time for reflection, as the process of deliberation affects the decisions reached.



Richardson, A. (1997), "Determining priorities for purchasers: The public response to rationing within the NHS", Journal of Management in Medicine, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 222-232.

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Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited

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