Resource allocation modelling for home-based health and social care services in areas having differential population density levels: a case study in N. Ireland

Health Services Management Research, Vol. 13, 164-169

A Hindle and M Spollen, 2000

This project arose from deliberations within the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Security in Northern Ireland concerning the acceptability of the revenue resource allocation methodology they were using. A problem with the method being used had been the absence of a component that adequately reflected the relative costs associated with differential population densities of the four Boards into which the Province is divided. This study investigated a particular element of this issue, viz differences in the travel distances and times of those health and social service professionals who provide visiting services to patients in their own homes.

A modelling approach was developed and used in conjunction with a comprehensive spatial and geographical information system for Northern Ireland. An important outcome of the study were estimates of the targets that should be set for the annual health and social care travelling distances and times per head in the Boards, for a range of home-based services. Also, the project contributed to decisions made by the DHSS&PS in Northern Ireland concerning the annual financial compensations required by Boards for costs associated with meeting these targets.