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Do NHS clinicians and members of the public share the same views about reducing inequalities in health?

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Decisions about how to allocate resources in health care are as much about social value judgements as they are about getting the medical facts right. In this context, it is important to compare the social preferences of members of the general public with those of National Health Service (NHS) staff involved in service delivery. A questionnaire eliciting peoples’ preferences over maximising life expectancy and reducing inequalities in life expectancy between the highest and lowest social classes was completed by 271 members of the UK public and 220 NHS clinicians. The two samples have different preferences with the general public showing a greater willingness than clinicians to sacrifice total health for a more equal distribution of health. These differences may highlight tensions between what the public wants and what clinicians want, and should be subject to further investigation.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/33013/

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