Division and opposition: the Health and Social Care Bill 2011

Sally Ruane

in Social Policy Review 24

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9781447304470
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307662 | DOI:
Division and opposition: the Health and Social Care Bill 2011

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The chapter discusses opposition to the government's proposals for health system reform set out in the White Paper, Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS, and in the 2011 Health and Social Care Bill. The discussion focuses on three institutions which played a significant role in the policy process surrounding the proposals: the Liberal Democrat Party as the junior partner in the Coalition, the British Medical Association, the main representative body of the medical profession, and the Labour Party, the official opposition. The chapter examines the character of the opposition they mounted to the proposals and the significance of internal contradictions or divisions and what this tells us about the contemporary politics of health. The chapter concludes that, in the case of health, the struggle over the bill points paradoxically to a more explicit convergence within the political class of policy and ideology.

Keywords: NHS; policy process; politics; Coalition government; health reform

Chapter.  7190 words. 

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