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Social Policy Review 23Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2011$
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Chris Holden, Majella Kilkey, and Gaby Ramia

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428301

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428301.001.0001

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date: 20 August 2017

The English NHS as a market: challenges for the Coalition government

The English NHS as a market: challenges for the Coalition government

Chapter:
(p.185) Ten The English NHS as a market: challenges for the Coalition government
Source:
Social Policy Review 23
Author(s):

Mays Nicholas

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847428301.003.0010

This chapter assesses the implications of the Coalitions's plans to restructure the National Health Service (NHS) in England. It explains that the plans involve taking another big step towards an NHS based on a publicly funded regulated market, by abolishing strategic health authorities and replacing primary care trusts with GP-led commissioning consortia. It evaluates the evidence on the market changes introduced by New Labour governments, arguing that these have had some success compared to the impact of additional resources and the setting and enforcement of targets. It notes however, that the absence of any regional intermediary organisations in the Coalition's plans may lead to inefficient duplication, fragmentation and destabilization, given the tendency towards market failure in healthcare. It opines that undertaking the scope and pace of reform envisaged in a context of restricted financial resource is a risky process, and a more complete, more competitive, NHS market could have negative effects on equity.

Keywords:   Coalition's plans, restructure, National Health Service, England, GP-led commissioning consortia, New Labour, healthcare, equity

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