Divergence or convergence? Health inequalities and policy in a devolved Britain

Smith, Kat, Hunter, David J., Blackman, Tim, Williams, Gareth, McKee, Lorna, Harrington, Barbara, Elliott, Eva, Marks, Linda and Greene, Alex (2009) Divergence or convergence? Health inequalities and policy in a devolved Britain. Critical Social Policy, 29 (2). pp. 216-242. ISSN 0261-0183

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0261018308101627


Since the advent of political devolution in the UK, it has been widely reported that markedly different health policies have emerged. However, most of these analyses are based on a comparison of health care policies and, as such, only tell part of a complex and evolving story. This paper
considers official responses to a shared public health policy aim, the reduction of health inequalities, through an examination of national policy statements produced in England, Scotland and Wales respectively since 1997. The analysis suggests that the relatively consistent manner in
which the ‘policy problem’ of health inequalities has been framed combined with the dominance of a medical model of health have constrained policy responses. Our findings differ from existing analyses, raising some important questions about the actuality of, and scope for, policy divergence since devolution.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Title of VoR differs from the draft version.
Uncontrolled Keywords: critical discourse, analysis devolution, health inequalities, policy divergence
Subjects: L400 Social Policy
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: Barbara Harrington
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2012 10:18
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 12:45
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/8276

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