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date: 01 December 2020

Frameworks for Priority Setting in Health and Social Carelocked

  • Marissa Collins, Marissa CollinsYunus Centre for Social Business and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Neil McHugh, Neil McHughYunus Centre for Social Business and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Rachel Baker, Rachel BakerYunus Centre for Social Business and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Alec Morton, Alec MortonDepartment of Management Science, University of Strathclyde
  • Lucy Frith, Lucy FrithInstitute of Psychology, Health and Society, University of Liverpool
  • Keith SyrettKeith SyrettUniversity of Bristol Law School
  •  and Cam DonaldsonCam DonaldsonYunus Centre for Social Business and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University

Summary

Health and social care organizations work within the context of limited resources. Different techniques to aid resource allocation and decision-making exist and are important as scarcity of resources in health and social care is inescapable. Healthcare systems, regardless of how they are organized, must decide what services to provide given the resources available. This is particularly clear in systems funded by taxation, which have limited budgets and other limited resources (staff, skills, facilities, etc.) and in which the claims on these resources outstrip supply.

Healthcare spending in many countries is not expected to increase over the short or medium term. Therefore, frameworks to set priorities are increasingly required. Four disciplines provide perspectives on priority setting: economics, decision analysis, ethics, and law. Although there is overlap amongst these perspectives, they are underpinned by different principles and processes for priority setting. As the values and viewpoints of those involved in priority setting in health and social care will differ, it is important to consider how these could be included to inform a priority setting process. It is proposed that these perspectives and the consideration of values and viewpoints could be brought together in a combined priority setting framework for use within local health and social care organizations.

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