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Relationship‐based services marketing: The case of the new primary care groups in the National Health Service (UK)

Tony Conway (Graduate School of Management, University of Salford, Salford, UK)
Stephen Willcocks (Department of Health Studies, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 1 February 2000



This conceptually‐focused paper looks at particular changes implemented in the UK National Health Service. The specific context is the creation of a new organisational form: the primary care group, which brings together general practitioners and other primary care staff in a given locality. The paper attempts to examine the consequences, for the development of these groups, of the shift from competition (in the internal market) to relationships based on collaboration and partnership. The broad policy objectives envisage much greater emphasis on working in partnership, participating in strategy and planning (via new health improvement programmes), developing joint working, and promoting the integration of service delivery. A relationship marketing perspective is explored as one way of conceptualising the development of new relationships between primary care groups, health authorities, local authorities, trusts and other agencies and the paper suggests that relationship marketing offers a way of facilitating policy change.



Conway, T. and Willcocks, S. (2000), "Relationship‐based services marketing: The case of the new primary care groups in the National Health Service (UK)", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 68-84.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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