Frameworks for priority setting in health and social care

Marissa Collins, Neil McHugh, Rachel Baker, Alec Morton, Lucy Frith, Keith Syrett, Cam Donaldson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Research Encyclopedia of Economics and Finance
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Publication series

NameOxford Research Encyclopedia of Economics and Finance


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