Divergence or convergence? Health inequalities and policy in a devolved Britain

Smith, Katherine E.; Hunter, David J.; Blackman, Tim; Elliott, Eva; Greene, Alexandra; Harrington, Barbara E.; Marks, Linda; McKee, Lorna and Williams, Gareth H. (2009). Divergence or convergence? Health inequalities and policy in a devolved Britain. Critical Social Policy, 29(2) pp. 216–242.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0261018308101627

Abstract

Since the advent of political devolution in the UK, it has been widely reported that markedly different health policies have emerged. However, most of these analyses are based on a comparison of health care policies and, as such, only tell part of a complex and evolving story. This paper considers official responses to a shared public health policy aim, the reduction of health inequalities, through an examination of national policy statements produced in England, Scotland and Wales respectively since 1997. The analysis suggests that the relatively consistent manner in which the 'policy problem' of health inequalities has been framed combined with the dominance of a medical model of health have constrained policy responses. Our findings differ from existing analyses, raising some important questions about the actuality of, and scope for, policy divergence since devolution.

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About

  • Item ORO ID
  • 30970
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 0261-0183
  • Project Funding Details
  • Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
    Not SetNot SetESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
  • Keywords
  • United Kingdom; devolution; health inequalities; policy divergence; critical discourse analysis
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Other Departments > Vice-Chancellor's Office
    Other Departments
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2009 The Author(s)
  • Depositing User
  • Tim Blackman

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