Defining and measuring unmet need to guide healthcare funding: identifying and filling the gaps.

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper


Budget allocations to Clinical Commissioning Groups include adjustments for unmet need for healthcare, but there is a lack of robust evidence to support this. This article describes a literature review with an objective to understand the available evidence regarding unmet need. We developed a conceptual framework for what constitutes ideal evidence that; defines unmet need for a given
population, indicates how that need can be met by health care, establishes the barriers to meeting need and provides relevant proxies based on observable measures. Our search focused on recent and empirical UK data and conceptual papers. We found no one article which satisfied all requirements of ideal evidence; the literature was strongest in defining need but weakest in regard
to establishing observable proxies of need capable of being used in budget allocations. Our review was limited by its timescale and a vast body of literature, which translated into a limited number of key words for the search. We conclude that further research to inform budget allocation is required and should focus on conditions or services where adverse health outcomes from unmet need are
amenable to healthcare interventions and which affect a sizeable proportion of the population.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationYork
PublisherCentre for Health Economics, University of York
Number of pages46
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

Publication series

NameCHE Research Paper
PublisherCentre for Health Economics, University of York

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