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Dismantling the NHS?Evaluating the Impact of Health Reforms$
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Mark Exworthy, Russell Mannion, and Martin Powell

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447330226

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447330226.001.0001

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

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

(p.105) Six An argument lost by both sides? The Parliamentary debate over the 2010 NHS White Paper
Dismantling the NHS?

Ian Greener

Policy Press

This chapter 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 reorganisation and explores the extent to which his policy argument was scrutinised by both the opposition and by members of his own Coalition government. The chapter suggests that Lansley offered an unjustified reorganisation based on market-based governance 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 authors ask questions about the extent to which parliamentary debate is able to adequately scrutinise governmental proposals of the complexity of healthcare reorganisation, especially at the beginning of a new term in office.

Keywords:   NHS, Equity and Excellence, Andrew Lansley, Coalition government, healthcare

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