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Urban Hospital Location by Professor Les Mayhew

Cass academic’s influential healthcare book republished on 70th anniversary of the NHS

by Amy Ripley (Senior Communications Officer)

Originally published in 1986, Urban Hospital Location examines the rising costs of health care and how the problem of providing a cost-effective and equitable pattern of health services is now a vital issue in many countries.

The book examines how location decisions are especially difficult in cities because of the shifting geographical structure of urban populations.  The book shows how the utilisation of health services is strongly influenced by their location and argues that better geographical organisation of health care facilities would contribute significantly to a better and more effective health service.

Professor Mayhew said as the cost of healthcare rises inexorably, how to provide a cost-effective and equitable pattern of health services in cities where an increasing proportion of the world’s population is concentrated is of considerable interest and importance to health care planners all over the world.

“One dimension of this is the question of exactly where hospitals should be located as well as their sizes, numbers and the services they provide.  Nowhere is this problem more important than in today’s mega-cities comprising millions of inhabitants who are distributed over an ever-increasing area, tied together by public transport systems and road networks of varying quality and density.  Added to this is the fact that  cities rarely stand still for long, changing in both size and population density, necessitating frequent re-appraisal of the best way to deliver a diverse range of health services and to target future investment, but also the question of disinvestment in unsuitable locations.”

Professor Mayhew said the book considers these issues in detail, from both a theoretical and practical standpoint.

“The ideas expressed therein, plus the planning models and case studies have been widely applied in the UK and in countries as far afield as Australia, Italy, Japan, Slovakia, and the United States, informing strategic decisions about the future delivery health care services in cities including London, Sydney, Turin and Kobe.

“The year 2018 marks the 70th Anniversary of the UK’s National Health Service and this book will be of interest to all those who believe in rational analysis, equity, efficiency and whole systems thinking.”

The book, originally published by George Allen and Unwin and based on Professor Mayhew’s PhD thesis awarded in 1980, is available from Routledge under its Library Editions, Volume 16: Urban Planning.

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