The Coalition Government's NHS reforms: evolution or revolution?

Posted on Wednesday 13th April 2011

Ever since the NHS White Paper was published in July 2010, debate has raged as to whether this is a revolutionary policy programme.  At the time, the government was keen to demonstrate the radical and innovative nature of its proposals, but as opposition has increased the language seems to have changed, with policy makers stressing the way in which proposals build on previous policy.

As the Health and Social Care Bill goes to the House of Lords in forthcoming months, a policy paper from the Health Services Management Centre analyses this new reform programme.  Overall, the paper suggests the reform proposals represent a large degree of continuity or evolution from previous reform agendas.  However, they also raise the point that the combined impact of the reforms when implemented may have the potential to bring about radical change as the scale and speed of the proposed changes take effect.  They reflect on the contextual factors likely to affect the implementation of the policy proposals and raise some practical implications for researchers and practitioners to consider in relation to this new reform agenda.

Policy Paper 11 - Liberating the NHS: Orders for change? (pdf; 233KB; opens in new window)