Priority setting: An exploratory study of English PCTs (Completed 2010)

The key research questions informing this programme are:

  • What priority setting activities are being utilised in the commissioning processes of English PCT's?
  • How is the range of priority setting activities being operationalised in practice? i.e. to what degree do these demonstrate:
  • Validity of priority setting processes (does it do what is intended?)
  • Validity of priority setting tools.
  • Acceptability of priority setting activities to a range of stakeholders?
  • Do these activities impact on patterns of service?

In order to address these research questions a three-stage process has been designed which includes: a national survey of PCTs; a series of in-depth case studies; and an expert event to draw together learning and produce practical and transferable lessons pertaining to the processes of priority setting activities.


Further reading

Findings from this work have been discussed in a number of academic and practioner based publications, including the following:


View all HSMC research projects

View all Clinical and strategic commissioning research projects


Date: 2009-2010
Researchers: Suzanne Robinson, Helen Dickinson, Dr Iestyn Williams, Dr Tim Freeman (Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham), Benedict Rumbold (The Nuffield Trust).