The New Politics of the NHS has become established over 30 years as the key overview of the NHS, its processes and paths of influence. The seventh edition remains a clear, easy-to-read guide to often complex debates.
It encompasses both the background of the evolution of the NHS since its foundation, and a completely up-to-date picture of its present and future in a more pluralistic - and possibly more financially austere - era in which deference to medical expertise is eroding and information on health and care is far more widely available.
It includes entirely new material on events since the turn of the millennium, the Blair administration, the 2010 General Election, the impact of the Coalition Government and strategies for coping with a new, much harsher economic environment. Assuming no prior knowledge of NHS politics and systems, The New Politics of the NHS focuses on management, structure, centralisation, funding, economic performance, challenges, current party political debates, interest groups and rationing, and also on the NHS's institutional and cultural continuity as a tax-funded service providing comprehensive, universal health care free at the point of delivery.
It is a vital update for all health care professionals, NHS managers, policy-makers and shapers, and those in special interest groups including patient advocacy organisations.
It is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding current controversies. 'Edition-by-edition, the perspective shaping the analysis has shifted somewhat as new questions have come to the surface.
However, the book remains structured around themes and preoccupations that have organised the text from the beginning and continue to do so.
It is shaped, above all, by the assumption that the NHS (and the wider health care policy arena) can be seen as a laboratory for a whole range of social, institutional and organisational experiments with implications for other areas of policy and perhaps other countries as well.' Rudolf Klein, in the Preface