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Participation and governance in the UK Department of Health (PLA 40)

Jo Lenaghan

Journal article

In many countries, including France and Germany, the state authorities responsible for health usually undergo some form of election by local citizens. When deciding what to spend money on, or where to locate hospitals, there is therefore usually some form of democratic accountability. In the UK's National Health Service, by contrast, health authorities are appointed by ministers in the central government. Having spent a year as a civil servant in the UK Government's Department of Health, the author gives an overview of the different approaches adopted by the Department to encourage transparency and legitimacy.

This article was published in PLA 40: Deliberative Democracy and Citizen Empowerment (February 2001). Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory learning and action approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics, students and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board.

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