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Never Again?

The story of the Health and Social Care Act 2012

Never Again? The story of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 explains why and how the Act became law; from the legislation’s origins 20 years ago, through the development of the 2010 White Paper Liberating the NHS to the passage of the controversial Bill through both Houses of Parliament.

The book, published jointly by the Institute for Government and The King’s Fund, focuses on what Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health, is trying to achieve through the NHS reforms and considers the role the Liberal Democrats played in introducing amendments to the legislation and passing the Bill.

Written by ex-Financial Times public policy editor Nicholas Timmins, the book discusses:

  • the fact that details of the NHS reforms remained  unclear before  the May 2010 election

  • how ‘the pause’ to the legislation came about

  • the appointment of Sir David Nicholson as chief executive designate of the NHS Commissioning Board

  • Andy Burnham, Shadow Health Secretary, reviving opposition to the Bill

  • how the coalition government helped the passage of the legislation through the House of Lords.

Never Again? draws some early lessons from the process of legislation and change surrounding the reforms and explains why the Secretary of State for Health believes that the NHS will ‘never again’ need to undergo such a huge structural change. It also raises the possibility that Andrew Lansley could emerge as a hero of public sector reform.