Research Article

Reforming the Department of Health's research and development policy: from the devil to the deep blue sea?

BMJ 1992; 305 doi: (Published 14 November 1992) Cite this as: BMJ 1992;305:1209
  1. A. Maynard,
  2. T. Sheldon
  1. Centre for Health Economics, University of York.


    Research into health and social services in Britain is largely funded by the Department of Health. Regional NHS research and development has recently been reformed and a new report now proposes replacement of the 13 research units funded by the department with three or four large multidisciplinary centres. Evidence to support such a step is lacking, and many criticisms of the existing units arise from poor departmental planning rather than deficiencies of the units themselves. Large units may make research less responsive to the department's needs, and it is essential that the proposed new structure is thoroughly evaluated before it is introduced.