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A case study into planning and change management within the UK National Health Service

Robin Drummond‐Hay (Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK)
David Bamford (Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 29 May 2009




The purpose of this paper is to present an empirical case study which was undertaken to examine planning and change management within a UK National Health Service (NHS) multi‐site hospital.


A case study was undertaken within a UK‐based NHS hospital trust. Having reviewed the available literature, the research collated and analysed existing planning and change implementation within the hospital using multiple collection methods. This culminated in specific recommendations.


It was established that the following were all factors of influence: articulating change in the NHS; preparing for the 18‐week patient pathway; choose and book: managing patient demand; and payment by results: financial accountability at all levels. These were all high profile issues requiring specific and immediate attention, if the proposed plans and changes were to be implemented according to the objectives set.

Research limitations/implications

The case study methodology applied was appropriate, generating data to facilitate discussion and to draw specific conclusions. A perceived limitation is the single case approach; however, Remenyi et al. argue that this can be enough to add to the body of knowledge.

Practical implications

From the research, a number of key influences were identified to have a significant impact on planning and managing change within the NHS. Specific recommendations are made.


The core contribution of the research adds to the body of knowledge about planning and the management of organisational change within healthcare.



Drummond‐Hay, R. and Bamford, D. (2009), "A case study into planning and change management within the UK National Health Service", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 324-337.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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