Indicator-based systems of performance management in the National Health Service

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Historically, the UK Government has policed the use of National Health Service (NHS) resources through the centralization of control. With the majority of resource-draining decisions being taken by clinicians, however, professional financial accountability is becoming more important within the NHS management structure. Variations in clinical performance can be monitored through the use of performance indicators, although these are not without their problems. The use of league tables of such indicators in the national press is now infamous and there is much anecdotal evidence about the intraorganizational conflict arising from the use of such tables. A questionnaire survey and interview study of clinical directors, clinical service directors and business managers in several Scottish NHS Trusts was undertaken to ascertain the perceptions of local-level managers on the issue of performance indicators. Interviews were also carried out with a number of personnel in the Scottish Office Department of Economics and Information, the Division of Health Gain and the Finance Directorate. This paper explores the differences between the perceptions of the managers at these two levels of the NHS with regards to issues of performance measurement, intraorganizational conflict and corporate vision.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-26
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Services Management Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2000


  • Administrative Personnel
  • Conflict (Psychology)
  • Efficiency, Organizational
  • Health Care Rationing
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Management Audit
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Perception
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care
  • Scotland
  • State Medicine


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