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Tackling health inequalities in post-devolution Britain: do targets matter?

Blackman, Tim; Elliott, Eva; Greene, Alex; Harrington, Barbara; Hunter, David; Marks, Linda; McKee, Lorna; Smith, Kat and Williams, Gareth (2009). Tackling health inequalities in post-devolution Britain: do targets matter? Public Administration, 87(4) pp. 762–778.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9299.2009.01782.x
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Abstract

Since devolution in 1998, many aspects of public policy in Great Britain have diverged between England, Scotland and Wales, including how targets and performance assessment are used in the National Health Service and local government. Health inequality is an example where all three countries have recognized a need to act but approaches to performance assessment differ. Based on interviews with senior managers, the complexity of health inequality as an object of local intervention is explored and compared. Despite contrasting approaches to targets, local discourses in all three countries had significant similarities. Health inequality had to compete against a preoccupation with improving access to acute services generally and balancing budgets over the short term. There was a bias in the interventions described towards targeting health behaviours, but with limited use of evidence about efficacy, and indications that measuring progress with reducing health inequalities was starting to lead to an emphasis on 'quick wins' from pharmacological interventions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2009 The Authors
ISSN: 0033-3298
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
Keywords: United Kingdom; devolution; health inequalities; performance assessment; targets; discourse analysis
Academic Unit/Department: Other Departments > Vice-Chancellor's Office
Item ID: 30971
Depositing User: Tim Blackman
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2012 09:21
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2014 07:45
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/30971
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