An argument lost by both sides? The Parliamentary debate over the 2010 NHS White Paper

Greener, Ian (2016) An argument lost by both sides? The Parliamentary debate over the 2010 NHS White Paper. In: Dismantling the NHS? Evaluating the Impact of Health Reforms. Policy Press, Bristol, pp. 105-125. ISBN 9781447330233

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    Abstract

    This paper examines the rhetoric of government and opposition in the Parliamentary debate over the 2010 NHS White Paper 'Equity and Excellence'. It treats the debate as a process of deliberative argument in which Secretary of State Andrew Lansley justifies his reorganization, and explores the extent to which his policy argument was scrutinised by both the opposition and by members of his own coalition government. The paper suggests that Lansley offered an unjustified reorganization based on market-based governance (although presented as 'social enterprise), and decentralised accountability, which would at the same time generate substantial savings in a time of financial austerity. This is contrasted with the often-fragmented arguments offered by voices in the opposition. The paper and asks questions about the extent to which Parliamentary debate is able to adequately scrutinise governmental proposals of the complexity of healthcare reorganization.