Purpose – The chapter aims to understand what kind of policy approach has been more successful in facilitating the involvement of patients and the public in the design and provision of health-care services at the local level and the explanatory factors justifying the implementation outcome.Methodology – By applying Richard Matland's ambiguity/conflict policy implementation model, the chapter analyses the impact of a number of policies introduced after 1997 in the English National Health Service that targeted final users and the local population in decision-making processes.Findings – The evidence shows that policies emphasising the importance of context-specific contingencies can be more effectively implemented when room for interpretation and discretion in selecting the appropriate means for involvement is given. In this way, the overall aims/purposes of health policies can be locally reshaped by allowing the adoption of flexible strategies within the implementation process.Practical implications – A strong leadership at the top of public sector organisations and, in particular, from the board of directors is needed to steer and facilitate a consensus oriented outcome in organisational decision-making processes that aim to incorporate the views and opinions of patients and the public.Social implications – Local initiatives in increasing participation, for specific purposes, are bound to be more successful than a general initiative, expecting comparatively uniform implementation.
Veronesi, G. and Keasey, K. (2013), "The Voice of Patients and the Public in the National Health Service: Issues of Implementation", Gnan, L., Hinna, A. and Monteduro, F. (Ed.) Conceptualizing and Researching Governance in Public and Non-Profit Organizations (Studies in Public and Non-Profit Governance, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 203-226. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2051-6630(2013)0000001012
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