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J Nurs Manag. 2003 Mar;11(2):91-7.

Modernizing the British National Health Service (NHS) -- some ideological and policy considerations: a commentary and application.

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School of Health Sciences, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.


The modernization of the British National Health Service, discussed by Peter Bradshaw in his paper, is having profound effects on nursing and patient care. The aim of this paper is to engage with the debate he has initiated in order to demonstrate its importance to nursing. The focus will be on key elements of the policy process not addressed by Peter Bradshaw as his emphasis was mainly on ideological concerns, but which nonetheless warrant consideration. These include the increasingly important role of evidence in policy making, and the role of nurses in the policy process. To this end four main themes are explored. First, specific comment is made on some of the points raised by Peter Bradshaw, in the context of the available evidence; secondly the role of evidence in the formulation and evaluation of policy is discussed; thirdly the policy process and nursing is examined; finally some tentative suggestions are made concerning the actions nurses and nurse managers can take to become more active in the health policy arena. The intention is to use Peter Bradshaw's work as a point of departure in examining further, some of the issues he highlights and to contribute to the debate.

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