Seventy years of privatizing the British National Health Service?

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The existence of different and conflicting definitions and different types, but few clear measures, of privatization has contributed to different interpretations of the extent of privatization in the almost 70-year history of the British National Health Service (NHS). This article aims to examine the extent of privatization in the NHS over successive policy chronologies through the lens of the ‘three dimensional’ approach of the Mixed Economy of Welfare. We find that whilst privatization in the NHS is not new, the generally accepted view that it has increased in recent years appears valid, although precision is difficult due to the lack of a generally accepted typology or measure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-118
JournalSocial Policy and Administration
Issue number1
Early online date4 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • privatization
  • British NHS
  • mixed economy of welfare


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