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Systematic reviews and synthesis
Lead: Lorelei Jones
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
The five studies that have been commissioned to evaluate the health reforms will be complemented by a series of systematic reviews of the published literature. The aim of the reviews is to identify research that has been undertaken on the implementation and impact of the reforms. For each of the reform 'mechanisms' - patient choice of provider; PCT commissioning and PBC commissioning; 'Payment by results'; provider diversity and provider autonomy; and regulatory reform - the reviews will consider the following questions:

1. What were the intended aims of the policy and why was it undertaken?
2. How was the policy implemented?
3. To what extent have the intended aims of the policy been realised?
4. What predictions were made by commentators? Were these realised?
5. Were there any unexpected consequences of the policy?
6. Are there modifications that would improve the effectiveness of the policy?

As the policies were designed to work together it is difficult to evaluate each reform mechanism in isolation. The reforms are also being implemented alongside existing policies (eg performance targets, reconfiguration of services). Therefore three integrating reviews will also be produced that consider:

    • The combined impact of the health reforms
    • The implementation of the health reforms
    • Changes over time in the performance of the NHS

The search strategy has been designed to identify empirical and theoretical research from a range of disciplines including political science, health and social policy, sociology, anthropology and health economics. The review will include research published in peer-reviewed journals, reports from academic institutions and other forms of 'grey literature'. These will be identified by searching electronic databases, including Medline, the Kings Fund Library database, Social Sciences Index, Econlit and SIGLE, and through collaboration with researchers and analysts in the Department of Health and other relevant organisations.

Last updated: 13 August 2013
Design: C Rivett-Carnac
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