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The search for a proportionate care law by formula funding in the English NHS

Bevan, Gwyn (2009) The search for a proportionate care law by formula funding in the English NHS. Financial Accountability and Management, 25 (4). pp. 391-410. ISSN 0267-4424

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Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1468-0408.2009.00484.x


Although the National Health Service was created to achieve equity of access to health care in 1948, over twenty years later an ‘inverse care law’ was seen to operate. The 1976 Report of the Resource Allocation Working Party laid the principles of formula funding to achieve an equitable distribution of resources, to move, over time, towards the operation of a proportionate care law. These principles have been applied ever since in England. This paper describes the context, governance and subsequent development of formulas and three persistent problems: accounting for populations, their needs and variations in the unavoidable costs of providers. The paper concludes by outlining continuing problems from the past and new challenges of formula funding in England to reduce ‘avoidable’ inequalities in health.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Divisions: Management
Centre for Analysis of Risk & Regulation
LSE Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2011 14:59
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 02:56

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