Health Care Analysis

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 295–300 | Cite as

Understanding the Role of “the Hidden Curriculum” in Resource Allocation—The Case of the UK NHS

  • Veronika Wirtz
  • Alan Cribb
  • Nick Barber

Abstract

In this paper we want to briefly illustrate the ways in which technical, ethical and political judgements of various kinds are interwoven in the processes of healthcare decision-making in the UK. Drawing upon the research for the “Choices in Health Care” project we will borrow the notion of the hidden curriculum from education to illuminate the nature of resource allocation decision processes. In particular we will indicate some of the fundamental but largely hidden political factors in play in these processes and the importance of the inchoate and implicit notion of “NHS values” in shaping UK resource allocation policies. We suggest that these more diffuse, holistic and system level value judgements are both central to understanding priority setting and at the same time difficult to reduce or abstract out into lists of single values/principles.

hidden curriculum resource allocation political factors NHS values 

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References

  1. Polanyi, M. (1983) The Tacit Dimension. Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith.Google Scholar
  2. Molewijk, A. C., Siiggelbout, A. H., Otten, W., Dupuis, H. M., and Kierit, J. (2003) Implicit Normativity in Evidence—based Medicine: A Plea for Integrated Empirical Ethics Research. Health Care Analysis 11(1), 69-92.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Veronika Wirtz
    • 1
  • Alan Cribb
    • 2
  • Nick Barber
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Practice and Policy, School of PharmacyUniversity of LondonLondonUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Centre for Public Policy ResearchKing's CollegeLondon

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