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In this paper the role of purchasing authorities, as set out in the current U.K. policy literature, is reviewed in the context of recent developments in palliative care. The notion of the purchasing cycle, from need assessment and strategic planning through to contracting and monitoring is outlined, along with core features of recent health and social care legislation in Britain: quality assurance, consumer choice and value for money. The role of providers and service users in the purchasing process is examined and the relationship between purchasers across the health/social care divide is explored. The implications of contracting for the voluntary sector provision of palliative care are also assessed. The review highlights the difficulties under the new legislation in reconciling the aim of efficiency with that of quality assurance, and of separating out the roles of purchasers and providers in a context where palliative care service developments have been provider-led. These factors reinforce the requirement to turn the purchaser-provider split into an effective partnership. Finally, the review highlights the need to address the current imbalances in the purchasing cycle by giving adequate attention to aggregate need assessment and strategic planning.
|Glasgow Author(s):||Clark, Prof David|
|Authors:||Clark, D., Neale, B., and Heather, P.|
|College/School:||College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies|
|Journal Name:||Social Science and Medicine|
|Published Online:||10 March 2000|