Needs assessment: developing an economic approach

Cam Donaldson*, Shelley Farrar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Health authorities and health boards in the UK are required under the provisions of the NHS Act, 1990, to assess the needs of their resident populations for health care and, through contracting, to act as purchasers of services informed by those needs. This paper presents an economic approach to informing the purchaser on priority setting for contracting. For illustrative purposes, the technique is applied to services for elderly people with dementia. The paper demonstrates that an economic approach to needs assessment is both desirable and practicable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-108
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1993


  • Economic evaluation
  • Needs assessment
  • Priority setting


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