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    Rights statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Legal Studies, 39 (3), pp 479-498 2019, © 2019 Cambridge University Press.

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Between 'Going Private' and 'NHS Privatisation': Patient choice, competition reforms and the relationship between the NHS and private healthcare in England

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/09/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Legal Studies
Issue number3
Volume39
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)479-498
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date8/05/19
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Patient choice in the context of National Health Service (NHS) reforms in England can refer to the law and policy underpinning patient movement between the NHS and private healthcare sector (in existence since the introduction of the NHS in 1948), as well as recent competition reforms of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, the National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) Regulations (No.2) 2013 and the 2014 Private Healthcare Market Investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). This article highlights the existence of two discrete, yet related frameworks: the ‘NHS patient - private patient’ framework based on Department of Health, NHS England and latterly Clinical Commisiong Group policy, and the ‘NHS patient choice’ framework, derived from New Labour choice and competition policies and subsequently enshrined by the 2012 Act reforms. The juxtaposition of these frameworks underscores the symbiotic relationship between the NHS and private healthcare, which raises questions about the fitness for purpose of current policy. It also helps explain why the competition reforms are difficult to implement, and suggests that the knitting together of patient choice and competition may unravel following the 2012 Act reforms and CMA private healthcare market development.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Legal Studies, 39 (3), pp 479-498 2019, © 2019 Cambridge University Press.