For this podcast I spoke to Lynne Pettinger about the work she has done with Ewen Speed and Andrew Goffey on the use of data in the NHS and its impact on how services are managed and understood and the role it plays in privatisation. A key issue she addresses is the impact of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and how it signalled a shift in the role of the NHS. In particular there was a move from the role of the state being to “provider of care” to being a”promoter of care”.

Some of Lynne’s work has looked at the”frailty service” and talks quite a lot about the heavily criticised “Friends and Family Test”  which has arguably helped the commercialisation of NHS. She mentioned the notorious Mid-Staffs hospital scandal, the Caldicott Review of data usage in the NHS, the influential research of Trish Greenhalgh and the US healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente.

Lynne discusses the really interesting way in which she and her co-authors have used and applied the theoretical approach actor network theory but with more of a discursive emphasis.

One of the concepts which Lynne was quite critical of the “lean” approach to management and planning at the NHS.

We briefly talk about the “platform” approach which is being pushed across UK government services. I have previously written about how this is being implemented in the NHS. A key notion Lynee draws on is that of the “Hollowed-Out State” as articulated by Jon Agar.