Consulting the Public About Health Service Priorities
BMJ (British Medical Journal). 1995 Oct 28; 311(7013): 1155-1158.
Consulting the public is an important component of commissioning health services. Somerset Health Authority has devised a method of consultation using eight focus groups meeting three times a year. Each group consists of 12 people, and together the groups are demographically representative of Somerset's population. The groups are asked about issues that are concerning the health authority, and their views have influenced health authority decisions. Each group is given some background information before the meeting, together with more information at the meeting. The discussions are tape recorded and analysed for qualitative information, but the groups are also asked to score certain priorities. The groups have been found to be representative, valid, and focused on community rather than individual values. Health authorities wanting to know the values people attach to health services should adopt this qualitative approach to consultation.
Consultation; Decision Making; Economics; Focus Groups; Health; Health Care; Health Care Delivery; Health Services; Heart Diseases; Illness; Nurses; Patient Care; Physicians; Public Opinion; Public Participation; Refusal to Treat; Resource Allocation; Self Induced Illness; Smoking; Surgery; Survey; Values;
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