Partnerships in Health and Social Care: England and Scotland Compared



Forbes T & Evans D (2009) Partnerships in Health and Social Care: England and Scotland Compared. Public Policy and Administration, 24 (1), pp. 67-83.

Since 1997 partnership working across the public sector has been a key theme of UK Government and Scottish Executive policy. Both Governments' policy approaches initially converged on this theme. However, while the UK Government has become lukewarm to the use of partnership working to deliver public services, the Scottish Executive has remained true to the partnership ethos. This article compares approaches to partnership working in health and social care between the UK Government and the Scottish Executive using a qualitative methodology based on semi-structured interviews two English and two Scottish health and social care partnerships are examined with regard to policy implementation of both Government's partnership agenda. The UK Government appears to have been confused over its aims and objectives for health and social care, while the Scottish Executive on the other hand has followed a more consistent approach beginning with the integration of primary and secondary health services and desire to integrate health and social services. However, in what appears to be a major flaw in policy, both the UK Government and the Scottish Executive have privileged the NHS as the main player in their health and social care partnership designs at times alienating the Local Authorities. As a result, there has been a missed the opportunity to develop true health and social care partnerships in the UK that are fully inclusive of all partners and instead we have seen the retention of many historical antecedents to effective joint working between the NHS and Local Authorities.

; Hospice care; Public welfare Scotland; Public welfare England; NHS Hospital and Community Health Services

Public Policy and Administration: Volume 24, Issue 1

Publication date31/01/2009

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Dr Tom Forbes

Dr Tom Forbes

Senior Lecturer, Management, Work and Organisation