One certainty amid NHS reform is that the NHS and social services cannot meet fully the demands placed on them, hence the importance of setting priorities and making tough decisions around the rationing of health and social care services. This implies that decisions on resource allocation are not just about what services to commission or ‘invest in’ but also what services should be decommissioned or ‘disinvested in’.
This seminar, in partnership with the Health Services Management Centre (HSMC), brought together clinicians, managers, policy makers and academics to explore the types of priority setting undertaken across England and how commissioners respond to resource scarcity. The day involved the use of practical simulation exercises as well as discussion, questions and networking. The seminar drew on the evidence base from research by HSMC and the Nuffield Trust's NHS efficiency programme.
Speakers included Dr Suzanne Robinson, Lecturer, HSMC and Dr Judith Smith, Director of Policy, Nuffield Trust, who discussed their findings from the Setting Priorities in Heath project and the implications for health and social care under new commissioning arrangements. Dr Helen Dickinson focused on the theory of rationing and Dr Jo Ellins, Lecturer, HSMC considered the role of the public and patients.