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Social Policy Review 24Analysis and debate in social policy, 2012$
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Majella Kilkey and Gaby Ramia

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781447304470

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447304470.001.0001

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Division and opposition: the Health and Social Care Bill 2011

Division and opposition: the Health and Social Care Bill 2011

(p.97) Five Division and opposition: the Health and Social Care Bill 2011
Social Policy Review 24

Sally Ruane

Policy Press

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

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