The study has concentrated on the acute sector in England but many of its inclusions will also be relevant in other areas of health care, and other parts of the UK. It concludes that the concept of cooperation between the two sectors is thus far wider than it appears on first sight.
Good co-operation could be used as a means for creating a more open market for services and treatment with the stimulation of competition and freedom for innovation which such markets provide.
No change in the essential nature of the NHS as a provider of free health care would be required. It does suggest important changes to financial and management reporting for health authorities which would be needed as part of a general strengthening of management's control. Private sector management should give careful consideration to the regulation of their sector to provide a sound basis for future growth.
This Handbook is the first part of a report of a study into the potential for cooperation between the public and private health sectors, in the clinical field of acute treatment and medical services.
The second part, Health Services Management: Developing Co-operation Between Public and Private Hospitals (A Practical Guide and Handbook), is designed as a practical guide for the cooperation desireable between public and private hospitals and it is hoped will be helpful to managers in both the pubic and private sectors.
Nuffield Trust (1986) Health services management: Competition and co-operation.