Learning from new Labour's approach to the NHS

Greener, Ian; (2017) Learning from new Labour's approach to the NHS. In: Social Policy Review. Policy Press, Bristol. (In Press)

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This article treats Labour’s approach to the NHS between 1997 and 2010 as representing a series of ‘programme theories’ to consider what we can learn from them about healthcare and public reorganization more generally. It suggests Labour’s programme theory of ‘delivery’ does have, through the Quality and Outcomes Framework, potential for learning how better to handle performance management, but that ‘choice and competition’ has not achieved the goals asked of it. Labour’s use of increased funding for the NHS appeared to be linked to an improvement in patient satisfaction and health outcomes, both of which now risk being undermined. Finally, the Private Finance Initiative presents a significant legacy and challenge to policymakers and NHS organizations today because of the financial commitments it requires of organizations that put in place poorly-negotiated deals, and are now in a difficult funding situation.