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Assessing the new public management: the case of the National Health Service

Hannigan, Ben ORCID: 1998. Assessing the new public management: the case of the National Health Service. Journal of Nursing Management 63 (5) , pp. 307-312. 10.1046/j.1365-2834.1998.00851.x

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Aim: This paper reviews the origins, core principles and impact of New Public Management (NPM) in the UK public services, with particular attention paid to the emergence of NPM in the National Health Service (NHS).Background: NPM represents a distinct break from traditional forms of public sector administration. Whilst its origins are grounded in economic crisis and New Right ideology, NPM philosophies and practices have since found wider acceptance. Origins of information: Selective review of key journal papers, books and policy documents. Key issues: NPM is characterized by: managers being ‘free to manage’; public sector disaggregation; competition; concern for efficiency; concern for outcomes; concern for quality; individualism rather than collectivism; and identification of the public service user as ‘customer’, ‘consumer’ or ‘citizen’. Conclusions: NPM has taken root in the NHS. Future reform of the health service is likely to modify some aspects of NPM, though many of the core themes of NPM in the NHS look likely to remain for the foreseeable future.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1365-2834
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 09:32

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