A national health inequalities fund for Wales: concept, design and implementation’ Health Policy

Marcus Longley, Mark Llewellyn, Anthony Beddow, David Cohen, Jeremy Corson, Morton Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives
To evaluate the potential for a national innovation fund, in the context of devolved health policy, to stimulate local action to deliver national priorities, using as a case study the conception, design and implementation of the £30m Welsh Assembly Government's (WAG) Inequalities in Health Fund (IiHF) 2001–08.

Methods
Multi-method evaluation of the national and local conception, design and implementation of the Fund, using analysis of documentary evidence, interviews and focus groups with national (Wales) officials and more than 170 local managers and professionals. The field work was carried out between October 2004 and June 2007.

Results
Different approaches at the three stages (concept, design, implementation) can reduce or enhance the effectiveness of funds like this one as a tool for achieving national objectives, and these are described.

Conclusions
National funds can be a useful lever for change, if appropriately conceived, designed and implemented. However, in the context of competing healthcare and other policy priorities, ‘good practice’ is often difficult to achieve, and somewhat simplistic incentives are often subverted locally, diluting the original purpose of the initiative.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Policy
Volume103
Issue number2-3
Early online date14 Sep 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011

Keywords

  • health inequalities
  • wales
  • evaluation
  • devolution
  • policy implementation

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