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Community Med. 1989 Aug;11(3):173-86.

NHS resource allocation after the 1989 white paper: a critique of the research for the RAWP review.


The Government White Paper on the NHS, 'Working for Patients', abolished the Resource Allocation Working Party (RAWP) formula in name, but retained its general approach of ensuring geographical equity through funding health authorities by a system of weighted capitation. As a result, the longstanding debate about the appropriate need indicators to include in RAWP, which was tackled afresh in the recent NHS Management Board review of RAWP, will remain highly pertinent to NHS resource allocation in the 1990s. Yet, the research carried out for the RAWP review, on which its principal proposals for change to the need indicators were based, is inadequate for developing a new method of resource allocation after RAWP. The paper describes the research and sets out its main conceptual limitations and problems of method.

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