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‘You said, we did’: A corpus-based analysis of marketising discourse in healthcare websites

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>26/10/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Text and Talk
Issue number5-6
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date12/08/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In recent years, social and political commentators have criticised the ongoing marketisation of the UK’s state-based healthcare system, the National Health Service (NHS). This paper examines the websites of 187 NHS’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), exploring how the CCGs represent themselves and their actions, and considering the extent to which these reflect and indeed enact this process of marketisation. Taking a corpus-based approach to Critical Discourse Studies, the analysis shows how the CCGs represent themselves as accountable, collaborative, patient-centred, responsive and self-determining organisations. It is thus argued that these websites function as forms of ‘prestige advertising’, reflecting the increasingly marketised nature of contemporary UK healthcare. Following the analysis, the potential motivations for these representations are considered, as are their possible implications for website users and the broader UK healthcare landscape.