Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1600 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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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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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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Everyday Life during the Pandemic

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

This book provides new insights into the challenges facing older people in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It draws upon novel qualitative longitudinal research which recorded the experiences of a diverse group of people aged 50+ in Greater Manchester over a 12-month period during the pandemic. The book analyses their lived experiences and those of organisations working to support them, shedding light on the isolating effects of social distancing.

Covering 21 organisations, as well as 102 people from four ethnic/identity groups, the authors argue that the pandemic exacerbated existing inequalities in the UK, disproportionately affecting low-income neighbourhoods and Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

The book outlines recommendations in relation to developing a ‘community-centred approach’ in responding to future variants of COVID-19, as well as making suggestions for how to create post-pandemic neighbourhoods.

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Wellness, Tracking and Social Media
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This is a detailed analysis of how understandings of health management past, present and future has transformed in the digital age.

Since the mid-20th century, we have witnessed ‘healthy’ lifestyles being pushed as part of health promotion strategies, both via the state, and through health tracking tools, and narratives of wellness online. This marks a seismic shift from a public welfare state responsibility for health towards individualised practices of digital self-care. Today health has become representative of ‘lifestyle corrections’ which is performed on social media.

Putting the spotlight on neoliberalism and digital technology as pervasive tools that dictate wellness as a moral obligation, Rachael Kent critically analyses how users navigate relationships between self-tracking technologies, social media, and everyday health management.

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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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A New Road to Reform

What lies behind England’s crisis in adult social care, why has real change been so hard and what can be done?

Ensuring effective, sustainable and affordable care and support for people of all ages is an urgent public policy challenge. This vital book outlines a different vision of social care as an essential part of the country’s economic and social infrastructure that enables people to live good lives.

Drawing on the history of social care, international comparisons and lived experience, it sets out a different road to reform that will secure political traction and public support for change.

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A New Approach to Care

Deficiencies in old age care are some of the most pressing human rights concerns in mature welfare states.

This book radically challenges the ethics of viewing care as a tradeable commodity and introduces a novel framework for understanding and analysing social care through the concept of ailment. Providing examples from the British and Finnish welfare states, it demonstrates how ailment shapes societies from the micro to the macro level. Addressing the marketisation and financialisation of care, the authors bring to light increasing inequalities in care.

This book argues that ailment is part of human life and society, and therefore the politics of care should begin with a politics of ailment.

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Knowledge, Practice and Neoliberal Reform in Community Mental Health Services
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In this timely analysis, Rich Moth assesses mental health services in a period of major change.

Based on extended fieldwork in community mental health services, he explores the many impacts of policy reform, marketisation and austerity on NHS mental health provision, and positions developments in the contexts of neoliberalism and an increased emphasis on individual responsibility.

Firmly rooted in the lived experiences of people using mental health services, and the social workers, nurses and psychiatrists delivering them, this is a stimulating perspective on understandings of and responses to mental distress within this organisational setting.

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This original collection explores how critical gerontology can make sense of old age inequalities to inform and improve social work research, policy and practice and empower older people.

With examples of practice-facing research, this book engages with key debates on age-related human rights and social justice issues. The critical and conceptual focus will expand the horizons of those who work with older people, addressing the current challenges, issues and opportunities that they face.

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