Evidence for Management Decision-making (EMD) is a 24 month study funded by the Service Delivery Organization (SDO) of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). It runs from April 1st 2009 – March 2011, and is being conducted by a multidiscipinary team of leading researchers drawn from the IKON (Innovation, Knowledge & Organizational Networks) research centre in Warwick Business School, and Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick.
The research problem
In England, the majority of decisions about the organization and provision of local health services are made by Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). PCTs receive a significant proportion of the overall NHS budget which they use to commission health services for their local populations. In this commissioning role they have a responsibility to ensure that healthcare provided to NHS patients is ‘World Class’. However commissioning decisions are very complex. They involve different kinds of experts (including commissioning managers, finance managers, public health experts) and many different criteria (including the evidence of effectiveness of services, the cost of services, the quality of services) all of which have to be carefully weighed up when making these decisions. At the same time, we know that there is a great deal of variation in the ways in which managers in different PCTs actually commission health services.
Within the NHS, and internationally, much thought and effort has gone into producing resources for managers so that they have the knowledge and information they need to commission services effectively. However, what we don't know is how managers actually use this knowledge and information in the commissioning process, and how they combine such resources with their own knowledge and local expertise.
The aim of this study is to provide a better understanding of how, why and when NHS managers make decisions on commissioning. We also want to understand the barriers and facilitators to “evidence-based” management in the NHS. By doing this we hope our findings can be used to improve the way knowledge is used in commissioning and thus help support better treatment for NHS patients.
Information about the final dissemination workshop held in 2011 is available here
A copy of the final report from the project can be obtained at the NETSCC website or as a pdf file
Visit the project website
The Project Team