Building Spaces for Controversial Public Engagement – Exploring and Challenging Democratic Deficits in NHS Marketization

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Abstract

The Brighton Citizen's Health Services Survey (BCHSS) was developed to explore and potentially challenge how knowledge is used and by whom in the production of local health commissioning institutions and relations. Through the creation of an ‘animating set of questions’, it sought to open up spaces through which to make visible some of the ways of knowing and valuing the NHS and health services that had been minimised through the commensuration practices of post-2012 public engagement. In this way there was a clear agenda to facilitate a form of knowledge democratisation which opened up and validated different 'health publics’, in order to explore and broaden participative engagement opportunities. The paper provides an account of the project. It considers the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of this example of ‘evidence-based activism’, reflects on the impact of the project on local commissioning and considers the range of controversies that arose as a result of the work. It explores the way that research straddling the boundary between academic inquiry and political activism speaks to the many issues that are prevalent in the changing HE sector as well as NHS privatisation, health commissioning and public sector cuts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-775
JournalJournal of Social and Political Psychology
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2018

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deficit
health service
health
democratization
privatization
public sector
public health
citizen
evidence

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original work is properly cited.

Keywords

  • Health
  • Policy
  • commissioning
  • Public Engagement
  • Activism
  • privatisation

Cite this

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title = "Building Spaces for Controversial Public Engagement – Exploring and Challenging Democratic Deficits in NHS Marketization",
abstract = "The Brighton Citizen's Health Services Survey (BCHSS) was developed to explore and potentially challenge how knowledge is used and by whom in the production of local health commissioning institutions and relations. Through the creation of an ‘animating set of questions’, it sought to open up spaces through which to make visible some of the ways of knowing and valuing the NHS and health services that had been minimised through the commensuration practices of post-2012 public engagement. In this way there was a clear agenda to facilitate a form of knowledge democratisation which opened up and validated different 'health publics’, in order to explore and broaden participative engagement opportunities. The paper provides an account of the project. It considers the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of this example of ‘evidence-based activism’, reflects on the impact of the project on local commissioning and considers the range of controversies that arose as a result of the work. It explores the way that research straddling the boundary between academic inquiry and political activism speaks to the many issues that are prevalent in the changing HE sector as well as NHS privatisation, health commissioning and public sector cuts.",
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