Creating a patient-led NHS: empowering ‘consumers’ or shrinking the state?

Ruth McDonald

in Social Policy Review 18

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9781861348449
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303459 | DOI:
Creating a patient-led NHS: empowering ‘consumers’ or shrinking the state?

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This chapter discusses developments in health policy. It makes clear that individual choice has a number of different roles to play in healthcare. It explains that the introduction of patient choice combined with payment by results further extends the use of market mechanisms as the means for achieving quality, responsiveness and efficiency in hospital care. It concerns policy towards health care outside of hospitals, since, with regard to the NHS in England, the government is increasingly turning its attention to care beyond the hospital doors. It focuses wholly on the NHS in England, since devolution in Scotland and Wales has resulted in health policy developments that diverge somewhat from the English model. It describes policies intended to ‘fix’ the hospital sector and offers an explanation for the shift in attention beyond this sector. It also examines demand and supply-side policies.

Keywords: health policy; patient choice; NHS in England; devolution; Scotland and Wales; hospital sector; demand and supply-side policies

Chapter.  6495 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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