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J Health Organ Manag. 2004;18(1):53-63.

Innovation and funding specialist services. Cochlear implantation.

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Trent Institute for Health Services Research, Medical School, Queen's Medical Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.


This paper traces the innovative development of the Nottingham Cochlear Implant Programmes. The paediatric programme was the first to be established in the UK in 1989 and remains the largest programme in the UK today, whilst the adult programme developed later, in 1994. The first section of the paper describes trends in service development whilst the second section makes detailed reference to the history of funding arrangements which enabled the programme to become established. The third part of the paper examines the (de)merits of locality purchasing versus centralised purchasing for specialist services, using cochlear implantation as way of illustration. The paper aims to provide an informative history of the development of the service in Nottingham and from this background create debate as to the most appropriate future funding mechanism for cochlear implantation in particular and specialist services in general.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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