Clinical leadership in UK health care: exploring a marketing perspective

Willcocks, Stephen George orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1764-5951 (2008) Clinical leadership in UK health care: exploring a marketing perspective. Leadership in Health Services, 21 (3). pp. 158-167. ISSN 1751-1879

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the application of marketing in health care, and in particular to assess its relevance to clinical leadership in the UK NHS.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper discusses a marketing perspective using literature and policy material.

Findings – The paper suggests that a marketing perspective is relevant in the UK NHS. Health service reforms have created a market in which choice and competition are levers for improving performance. Central to this is the notion of patient choice. Marketing is a way of exploring these issues. The paper suggests that there may be resistance to ideas originating from the private sector, and this needs to be overcome.

Practical implications – Marketing offers a framework and a set of techniques with which to improve organisational performance and ensure a focus on quality in meeting the needs of the patient. The new payment-by-results funding system ensures that money follows patients. Providers will need to focus on quality to attract patients and track resulting funding streams.

Originality/value – The paper demonstrates that private sector methods and techniques are relevant in the public sector, although one must take into account differing contexts.

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