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?Build it and they will come'- or will they? Choice, policy, paradoxes and the case of NHS treatment centres

Bate, P; Robert, G; (2006) ?Build it and they will come'- or will they? Choice, policy, paradoxes and the case of NHS treatment centres. Policy and Politics , 34 (4) 651 - 672. 10.1332/030557306778553141.

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Abstract

At a time when ?choice? is being proposed as the main driver for cultural change and the raising of standards across the public services generally, this paper examines some of the policy issues and arguments involved with reference to one particular organisational innovation being implemented within the ?choice? agenda: National Health Service (NHS) Treatment Centres (TCs). In this context, the paper reveals eight policy paradoxes or contradictions across five dimensions (market, cultural, systems, structural and political) that remain unresolved. We suggest that our findings in relation to the ?paradoxes of choice? in the NHS may have (a) broader implications across other public sector services that are implementing similar policies aimed at maximising consumer choice, and (b) that whilst paradox should not necessarily be viewed as a negative, resolving them does firstly require acknowledgement of their existence and secondly ?opportunities for action and communication?. At a time when ?choice? is being proposed as the main driver for cultural change and the raising of standards across the public services generally, this paper examines some of the policy issues and arguments involved with reference to one particular organisational innovation being implemented within the ?choice? agenda: National Health Service (NHS) Treatment Centres (TCs). In this context, the paper reveals eight policy paradoxes or contradictions across five dimensions (market, cultural, systems, structural and political) that remain unresolved. We suggest that our findings in relation to the ?paradoxes of choice? in the NHS may have (a) broader implications across other public sector services that are implementing similar policies aimed at maximising consumer choice, and (b) that whilst paradox should not necessarily be viewed as a negative, resolving them does firstly require acknowledgement of their existence and secondly ?opportunities for action and communication?.

Type:Article
Title:?Build it and they will come'- or will they? Choice, policy, paradoxes and the case of NHS treatment centres
DOI:10.1332/030557306778553141
Additional information:Imported via OAI, 20:31:45 23rd Feb 2007
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care > CHIME

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