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New study on competition in NHS presents complex picture

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e1320 (Published 21 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1320
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

A new study showing that the introduction of certain measures to increase competition had a mixed effect on NHS hospitals’ performance should be viewed with caution in determining future policy, says a leading analyst.

Nicholas Mays, professor of health policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said that the research, published by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), was a welcome addition to the evidence base on competition whose findings “cut both ways.”

“Some of it is positive for what the government is saying, and some of it is less supportive,” he told the BMJ.

But he added, “The government could not pick it up and say it was proof that more competition with the private sector will work.”

The LSE study, entitled “Does competition improve public hospitals’ efficiency? Evidence from a …

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