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A Manifesto for a New Social Contract

A public health crisis is gripping the UK. Improvements in life expectancy have stalled, health inequalities have widened, obesity and alcohol misuse are placing an increasing strain on health services and urban air pollution is now widely recognised as a serious health hazard. COVID-19 revealed the weaknesses of the UK's public health system, once thought to be among the best in the world.

Against this background, this book examines the organisational and political barriers to an effective public health system showcased through the UK. It urges that what is needed is a new social contract, in which health policy is truly public.

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The State of UK Health Policy

In its 75th anniversary year, this book examines the history, evolution and future of the NHS.

With contributions from leading researchers and experts across a range of fields, such as finance, health policy, primary and secondary care, quality and patient safety, health inequalities and patient and public involvement, it explores the history of the NHS drawing on narrative, evaluative and analytical approaches.

The book frames its analysis around the four key axes from which the NHS has evolved: governance, centralisation and decentralisation, public and private, and professional and managerial.

It will address the salient factors which shape the direction and pace of change in the NHS. As such, the book provides a long-term critical review of the NHS and key themes in health policy.

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Insights into Health Data Use
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EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-ND licence.

This book explores the concept of public trust in health systems.

In the context of recent events, including public response to interventions to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination uptake and the use of health data and digital health, this important book uses empirical evidence to address why public trust is vital to a well-functioning health system.

In doing so, it provides a comprehensive contemporary explanation of public trust, how it affects health systems and how it can be nurtured and maintained as an integral component of health system governance.

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The Political Roots of the Public Engagement Agenda
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Public trust in the scientific community is under extraordinary pressure. Crucial areas of human activity and public policy, such as education, universities, climate and health care are influenced by populist political strategies rather than evidence-based solutions. Moreover, data-driven methods are becoming increasingly subject to de-legitimisation.

This book examines potential remedies for improving public trust and the legitimacy of science. It reviews different policy approaches adopted by governments to incentivise the empowerment of stakeholders through co-production arrangements, participatory mechanisms, public engagement and interaction between citizens and researchers.

Offering an original analysis of the political roots of the governmental impact and engagement agenda, this book sheds much-needed light on the wider connections to democracy.

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Practices of Care and Contestation

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

What does it mean to love a healthcare system?

It is often claimed that the UK population is unusually attached to its National Health Service and the last decade has seen increasingly visible displays of gratitude and love. While social surveys of public attitudes measure how much Britain loves the NHS, this book mobilises new empirical research to ask how Britain loves its NHS.

The answer delves into a series of public practices – such as campaigning, donating and volunteering within NHS organisations – and investigates how attitudes to the NHS shape patient experience of healthcare. Stewart argues that these should be understood as practices of care for, and contestation about the future of, the healthcare system.

This book offers a timely critique of both the potential, and the dysfunctions, of Britain’s complex love affair with the NHS.

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Counter-Stories of Colliding Pandemics

This book addresses the prejudices that emerged out of the collision of two pandemics: COVID-19 and racism.

Offering a snapshot of experiences through counter story-telling and micro narratives, this collection assesses the racialised responses to the pandemic and investigates acts of discrimination that have occurred within social, political and historical contexts.

Capturing the divisive discourses which have dominated this contemporary moment, this is a unique and creative resource that shows how structural racism continues to operate insidiously, offering invaluable insights for policy, practicend critical race and ethnic studies.

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Global Policies, Narratives and Practices
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The past 30 years have seen risk become a major field of study, most recently with the COVID-19 pandemic positioning it at the centre of public awareness, yet there is limited understanding of how risk can and should be used in policy making.

This book provides an accessible guide to the key elements of risk in policy making, including its role in rhetoric to legitimise decisions and choices.

Using risk as a framework, it examines how policy makers in a range of countries responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and explains why some were more successful than others.

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Between Two Paradigms

Two decades have passed since the devolution of social care policy, with key differences emerging between the UK’s four systems, but what impact have these differences had? This book presents for the first time research on the perspectives of social care policy makers on the four systems in which they operate and the ways in which they borrow from one another.

Drawing on extensive interviews with national and local policy makers across the UK, the book raises vital questions about the role of ‘standardisation’ and ‘differentiation’ in social care, concluding that when given equal capacity to reform their respective systems, the regimes in each nation may take radically different shapes.

Chapter 4 and chapter 7 are available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

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COVID-19 and Regional Inequalities in Health and Wealth

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic affected all parts of the country, it did not do so equally. Northern England was hit the hardest, exposing more than ever the extent of regional inequalities in health and wealth.

Using original data analysis from a wide range of sources, this book demonstrates how COVID-19 has impacted the country unequally in terms of mortality, mental health and the economy.

The book provides a striking empirical overview of the impact of the pandemic on regional inequalities and explores why the North fared worse.

It sets out what needs to be learnt from the pandemic to prevent regional inequality growing and to reduce inequalities in health and wealth in the future.

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A Comparative Study of England and Canada

This timely comparative study assesses the role of medical doctors in reforming publicly funded health services in England and Canada.

Respected authors from health and legal backgrounds on both sides of the Atlantic consider how the high status of the profession uniquely influences reforms. With summaries of developments in models of care, and the participation of doctors since the inception of publicly funded healthcare systems, they ask whether professionals might be considered allies or enemies of policy-makers.

With insights for future health policy and research, the book is an important contribution to debates about the complex relationship between doctors and the systems in which they practice.

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