Coping with uncertainty: Policy and politics in the National Health Service (Hunter, 1980)

David Hughes

in Shaping Health Policy

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9781847427588
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305576 | DOI:
Coping with uncertainty: Policy and politics in the National Health Service (Hunter, 1980)

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This chapter discusses David Hunter's classic case study of resource allocation after the 1974 NHS reorganisation, Coping with Uncertainty: Policy and Politics in the National Health Service (Hunter, 1980). Hunter's research follows the well-established sociological tradition of basing case analysis on the longitudinal study of social processes in one or more formal organisations; in this instance following the activities of key participants in two Scottish health boards over two financial years. The study was undertaken before the Griffiths general management reforms and the NHS internal market, when funding of services depended on short-term plans and annual revenue allocations. Hunter's study remains highly relevant as perhaps the earliest British example of a genre of qualitative case studies of policy implementation in action that usefully complements more conventional health policy and HSR studies.

Keywords: NHS; policy making; David Hunter; resource allocation; 1974 NHS reorganisation

Chapter.  6619 words. 

Subjects: Health, Illness, and Medicine

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