With a third Labour government in power, the gradual privatization of the NHS looks set to continue apace. How this has come about - to the point where even the shrinking core of free NHS hospital services is being handed over to private providers at the taxpayers' expense - is still not widely understood, far reaching policy change being hidden behind slogans like 'care in the community', 'diversity' and 'local ownership'. Allyson Pollock demystifies these terms, and in doing so presents a clear and powerful analysis of the transition from a comprehensive and universal service to New Labour's 'mixed economy of health care', in which hospitals with foundation status, loosely supervised by an independent regulator, will be run on largely market principles.
Allyson Pollock is Professor of Health Policy and Health Services Research at University College London. A public health doctor, she researches and publishes widely on health policy issues and is a frequent contributor to radio and television discussions.