Naming & Shaming: The Impacts of Different Regimes on Hospital Waiting Times in England and Wales

32 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2009

See all articles by Timothy J. Besley

Timothy J. Besley

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Gwyn Bevan

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Konrad Burchardi

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: May 2009

Abstract

Improving accountability in public services has been a central objective of many public sector reforms in recent years. Chief among these have been efforts to generate observable performance measures as a basis for monitoring performance. This paper examines a natural experiment in regimes applied to waiting list targets for hospital admissions in England and Wales. Prior to 2001, each country had similar policies, organisational structures for hospital care, and levels of resources. After 2001, the principal difference between the countries were the consequences for hospitals that failed to meet targets for waiting times: in England, failure resulted in sanctions in a process of 'naming and shaming', but in Wales, failure was perceived to result in extra resources. We use hospitals in Wales as a 'control group', to examine the effect of 'naming and shaming' in England. We found that this policy did indeed reduce waiting times in England as compared with Wales. However, there is some evidence there was in England, initially, some shuffling of prospective patients to meet specific targets which increased mean waiting times.

Keywords: hospital waiting times, targets

JEL Classification: H11, I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Besley, Timothy J. and Bevan, Gwyn and Burchardi, Konrad, Naming & Shaming: The Impacts of Different Regimes on Hospital Waiting Times in England and Wales (May 2009). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7306. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1433902

Timothy J. Besley (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 20 7955 6702 (Phone)
+44 20 7955 6951 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Gwyn Bevan

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Konrad Burchardi

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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