‘Closed policy networks, broken chains of communication and the stories behind an ‘entrepreneurial policy’: The case of NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust (NHS LIFT)

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Aldred, Rachel (2007)

This article draws on original case study research to develop more general conclusions about policy-making processes under New Labour. I discuss the Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) as an exemplar of new trends in contemporary capitalist welfare regimes, and I compare some of the enterprise rhetoric surrounding and justifying LIFT to the experiences of National Health Service managers and clinicians in my case study. I consider why many of the voices that I studied appear to remain unheard outside private interviews and meetings, and conclude that changes in the public sector are helping to create closed networks that are unresponsive to concerns expressed ‘on the ground’. Finally, I consider some implications of my data for the future of neo-liberal welfare policies.
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