In this timely and unique work, Calum Paton assesses the political economy and politics of current health policy in order to explain the underlying causes of problems in the National Health Service. Debates from political theory, political economy and public administration are used to examine health policy made and implemented by New Labour since their election victory in 1997. The author argues that the fundamental nature of health policy is dependent upon the prevailing regime in political economy and also that 'policy overload', contradictions and confusion have rendered the task of coherent implementation very difficult. Although there is implicit comparison, the primary focus is England within the UK (post-devolution), and the book provides a detailed examination of contemporary health policy. Written by an established scholar in the field, it will particularly interest academics, post-graduate students and professionals in health policy, social policy and politics.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: political economy, public policy and New Labour. Part 1 Political Economy: Political economy: economic regimes, political regimes and political economy in Britain; The state, post-Fordism and health services. Part 2 Public Policy: Public policy and the state; Illustrating public policy: how New Labour has made health policy; Implementation: power, political structure, health policy and the 'new regulation'. Part 3 The NHS: Re-making the NHS; Choice and markets; The state of New Labour's healthcare state; Conclusion: the New Labour state; Index.
Calum Paton is a political theorist and policy analyst who has specialized in health policy for more than twenty years. He has published widely in politics and health policy, including evaluations of health reform in the UK, Europe and the USA. He is Editor of the International Journal of Health Planning and Management and was Chairman of one of the UK's largest NHS Trusts from 2000 to 2005.
’As well as being an academic in politics and health policy, Calum Paton is a perceptive analyst of today’s NHS. He also chaired one of the UK's largest NHS hospital Trusts for five years. I believe that his assessment of the NHS is spot on and that his honesty in speaking truth to power is sorely needed.’ Dave Crowley, University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust, 2001-2005 and Director of Finance, 1998-2001 ’At last - a book by a respected political scientist that not only exposes the policy paradoxes at the heart of New Labour’s health reforms but also demolishes their very rationale.’ Professor David J. Hunter, Durham University, UK ’This book provides a detailed and thorough analysis of New Labour’s approach to health policy and offers the reader sharp insights as to why the NHS is in such a sorry mess...[it] provides a fascinating and highly detailed analysis of New Labour’s project, which is persuasive in its arguments and demonstrates that any analysis of the policy process needs to be set within a much broader social and political context. It will provide inspiring reading for scholars who are engaged in research into this area, as well as students who are seeking a sharp and coherent analysis of New Labour’s state of health. However, it will also be valuable reading for anyone interested in the continuing struggles of NHS policy to please all of the people all of the time. In addition to this, the author has a style of writing that makes the volume difficult to put down...’ International Journal of Health Planning and Management '...this volume is recommended to individuals seeking an understanding of New Labour's domestic policy actions.' British Politics Group Newsletter '...Paton's account of the decline and fall of the NHS makes nightmare reading. Paton's tale of the lack of principles in Blair's NHS is a must for anyone with a semblance of interest in the future of the NHS or indeed of public