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Hospital provision, resource allocation, and the early national health service: The sheffield regional hospital board, 1947-1974

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This chapter presents a case study of the Sheffield Regional Hospital Board (RHB), from its creation in 1947 to the health service reorganization of 1974. The official history of the National Health Service (NHS) has also drawn attention to resource allocation in the hospital service, and to the experience of individual RHBs. One of the key questions in relation to inequalities in resource allocation is the extent to which the RHBs were able to make up their deficits through a hospital building programme. As with capital allocations, it is important to understand how the system for revenue expenditure operated. Estimates for revenue expenditure were prepared by the Hospital Management Committees (HMCs), passed on to the RHB which discussed and collated them, and added its own; and were then passed to the Ministry of Health. The Ministry in turn discussed and collated these, and added its own estimates, and in December of each year passed them on to the Treasury.