Objective New evidence about existing health technologies can raise questions about the benefits of continued provision. It may be possible to stop or reduce the technology use in people where benefit may not justify health system costs. The EBI programme was introduced in the English National Health Service (NHS) in April 2019. The programme provides guidance for local health system managers to stop or reduce certain procedures where evidence indicates limited or no benefit (for some or all patients). The aim of this study is to investigate patients’ understanding and experiences of care for symptoms where access to procedures may be constrained by the EBI programme.
Methods This is a qualitative study based on case study design. The data collection methods planned are semi-structured interview(s) with patients who are potential candidates for three case study procedures from the EBI programme. Alongside this, audio-recordings of these patients’ clinical consultations will be collected, with a focus on how treatment options are discussed. Data will be analysed thematically, using the constant comparative approach.
Results Data collection will commence in January 2022 with preliminary findings presented. The topics that will be covered in the interviews and audio-recordings include patients’ experiences of their initial referral by primary care and their pathway leading to specialist consultation; any expectations they may have had for their care and what the implications were if these were not met; and their general views on access to NHS care.
Conclusion Research on the impact of initiatives that aim to reduce healthcare use from stakeholders’ perspectives is lacking. This study is one of the first to focus on patients’ understanding and perspectives of care in this context. Findings from this study will provide timely information on the implications of these initiatives on patients’ experiences of care.
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