To read this content please select one of the options below:

Clinical leadership in UK health care: exploring a marketing perspective

Stephen Willcocks (University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 18 July 2008




The purpose of this paper is to explore the application of marketing in health care, and in particular to assess its relevance to clinical leadership in the UK NHS.


The paper discusses a marketing perspective using literature and policy material.


The paper suggests that a marketing perspective is relevant in the UK NHS. Health service reforms have created a market in which choice and competition are levers for improving performance. Central to this is the notion of patient choice. Marketing is a way of exploring these issues. The paper suggests that there may be resistance to ideas originating from the private sector, and this needs to be overcome.

Practical implications

Marketing offers a framework and a set of techniques with which to improve organisational performance and ensure a focus on quality in meeting the needs of the patient. The new payment‐by‐results funding system ensures that money follows patients. Providers will need to focus on quality to attract patients and track resulting funding streams.


The paper demonstrates that private sector methods and techniques are relevant in the public sector, although one must take into account differing contexts.



Willcocks, S. (2008), "Clinical leadership in UK health care: exploring a marketing perspective", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 158-167.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles