The need to make decisions between a range of potentially beneficial interventions has existed since the inception of the NHS. The recent economic downturn places increasing pressure on the financing of health care services.
For many health care providers, including the NHS, this means difficult decisions need to be made over what will and will not be funded. The need to distribute scarce resources in an efficient and effective manner has led to a range of cost-containment strategies, with a number of tools and approaches being used to aid priority-setting processes in the UK and beyond. One of HSMC's specialist areas is its current work around decision making and priority setting in health and social care.