Resource allocation

Resource allocation systems are basically a simple way of explaining to an individual what resources the funder can make available to meet identified support needs and to achieve agreed outcomes. Resource allocation is the process of assigning and managing assets in a manner that supports an organization’s strategic goals.

There have been approaches to resource allocation in existence for many years; resource panels and care plans are two such approaches. In the context of this report we discuss an approach which is central to the use of personal budgets. All approaches share the same three components:

  • Budget- The funding identified by a funding agency to support a group of children or young people who share a broad set of linked support needs.
  • Eligibility- A clear explanation of what makes a child, young person or family eligible for funding from this budget.
  • Purpose- A clear statement of the outcomes which this funding must support the delivery of, by meeting support needs identified through the assessment process.

The principles of resource allocation

  • Active resource allocation is driven by the need to achieve efficiency and equity in healthcare provision.
  • Risk-adjusted capitation is the commonest method used internationally.
  • Risk adjustment should reflect healthcare needs.
  • Identification of needs should be based on available epidemiological and scientific data rather than apparent healthcare expenditure or utilization information.
  • Equitable allocation is imperative if the model is to achieve acceptance.
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