Potential research priorities arising from proposals for NHS reforms in England

Document type
Barlow, James; Hendy, Jane
Policy Innovation Research Unit
Date of publication
1 March 2012
Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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This report presents the findings from horizon scanning activities undertaken between January and August 2011. This period captures insights from debate in England regarding the proposed health care reforms and subsequent listening exercise. The analysis identifies existing and developing evidence underlying the various policy issues outlined in the Bill and any areas where current evidence is weak or absent. These evidence gaps suggest priority areas for new research to support effective policy implementation and evidence-based policy innovation.

The exercise identified the following key areas where there are emerging policy interest, but where the current evidence base suggests that new research may be merited.

  • Improving health outcomes and quality of care in a context of cost constraints. 
  • Changes in patient expectations and attitudes. 
  • Self-management approaches – increased personal responsibility for health. 
  • Placing patients at the centre of services and increasing accountability to patients. 
  • Market-based approaches for generating competition, reducing costs and improving performance.