The effects of environmental factors on the efficiency of Clinical Commissioning Groups in England: a data envelopment analysis

Rumbidzai Takundwa, Sue Jowett, Maria Penaloza, Hugh McLeod

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Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) were created in 2013 to make the NHS more responsive, efficient and accountable. A large number of different indicators can be used to measure the quality and outcomes of services provided by CCGs, however there is currently no single measure of overall efficiency available. The performance of CCGs may also be confounded by environmental factors such as deprivation, population size and burden of disease. Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is a linear programming technique that can be used to measure the relative efficiency of a given set of organisations. To use DEA to measure the efficiency of English CCGs and assess the impact of environmental factors. This study estimates the technical efficiency of 208 CCGs in England using DEA. The inputs and outputs used include budget allocation, number of general practitioners, mortality rates, patient satisfaction and Quality and Outcomes Framework achievement scores. Regression analysis is used to assess the effects of environmental factors on efficiency, such as population size, prevalence of disease, and socio-economic status. Twenty-three percent (47/208) of CCGs were efficient compared to the others. Three environmental factors were statistically significant predictors of efficiency: CCGs with smaller population sizes were more efficient than those with larger ones, while high unemployment rates and a high prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease led to a decrease in efficiency scores. Comparative deprivation was not a significant predictor of efficiency. The finding that the relationship between deprivation and efficiency is not statistically significant suggests that NHS England’s adjustment for environmental factors within the CCG-level budget allocation is broadly successful. This study shows the potential of DEA for assessing technical efficiency at CCG-level in the English NHS.
Original languageEnglish
Article number97
JournalJournal of Medical Systems
Early online date9 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


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