The Search for a Proportionate Care Law by Formula Funding in the English NHS

20 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2009

See all articles by Gwyn Bevan

Gwyn Bevan

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Abstract

Although the National Health Service was created to achieve equity of access to health care in 1948, over twenty years later an ‘inverse care law’ was seen to operate. The 1976 Report of the Resource Allocation Working Party laid the principles of formula funding to achieve an equitable distribution of resources, to move, over time, towards the operation of a proportionate care law. These principles have been applied ever since in England. This paper describes the context, governance and subsequent development of formulas and three persistent problems: accounting for populations, their needs and variations in the unavoidable costs of providers. The paper concludes by outlining continuing problems from the past and new challenges of formula funding in England to reduce ‘avoidable’ inequalities in health.

Suggested Citation

Bevan, Gwyn, The Search for a Proportionate Care Law by Formula Funding in the English NHS. Financial Accountability & Management, Vol. 25, Issue 4, pp. 391-410, November 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1495258 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0408.2009.00484.x

Gwyn Bevan (Contact Author)

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

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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