A paper I’ve co-written with Scott Greer of the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health (a former colleague at the Constitution Unit at UCL) has just appeared in the academic journal Policy & Politics. The paper is entitled ‘Intergovernmental relations and health in Great Britain after devolution’, and develops work Scott and I did for the Nuffield Trust. The paper tries to do two things. It surveys major health policy issues that have come onto the intergovernmental agenda, and it examines the way intergovernmental relations may affect health policy. We argue that the impact of intergovernmental relations on this policy area is extensive, due to the number and impact of areas of policy spill-over, mostly from ‘English’ policy on devolved matters in Scotland and Wales (space prevented us discussing Northern Ireland as well), but also from growing EU influence on health policy. We also argue that this influence is easy to under-rate, as the problems have stayed out of public sight, and that the mechanisms in place for dealing with these policy strains are probably inadequate if they become more acute (as they now are). Those interested in health policy, whether as scholars or practitioners, can no longer afford to overlook intergovernmental factors.
The reference for the paper is Scott L. Greer and Alan Trench, ‘Intergovernmental relations and health in Great Britain after devolution’ Policy & Politics, vol. 38 no. 4, October 2010 , pp. 509-529, and the abstract is available here.