Giving clinicians managerial responsibility can improve quality, think tank says

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 25 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e603
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Giving hospital consultants responsibility for managing their own services can improve quality and efficiency and can also identify how well the services perform and what they cost, the healthcare think tank the King’s Fund concludes in a new report.

But to make it possible, boards and senior executives have to cede control and power to clinical teams.

Service line management, a concept first introduced into healthcare in the United States and championed by Monitor, England’s regulator of foundation trusts, devolves decision making in hospitals to distinct operational units centred on a particular service. The system aims to make better use of information and increase clinicians’ engagement in managing services. The King’s Fund report includes interviews with staff at seven NHS trusts that have used service line management to a greater or lesser degree.

The report …

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