'Quick and clean': authoritative health technology assessment for local health care contracting

Health Trends. 1995;27(2):37-42.


Commissioners of health care require rapid, accurate and usable information on health technology effectiveness to help them to decide on the content of contracts. Despite major strides in the national initiatives in health technology assessment, such information is still in short supply at the local level. In 1991 the former Wessex region (now in the new South and West Region) established a mechanism which continues to provide carefully established recommendations on new technologies. Its features include: identification of locally important topics for evaluation by the purchasers and the providers; an evaluation team, working to a well-defined format in a service-led academic institute; an arbitration committee to deliver recommendations to purchasers on the basis of both the cost-utility of proposals and the quality of the evidence; and implicit obligations for purchasers to respond to strong recommendations.

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Device Approval
  • Research Design
  • State Medicine
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / methods*
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / organization & administration
  • United Kingdom