Accountable care? An analysis of national reporting on local health and social care service integration

Sean Tunney, Jane Thomas

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This paper analyses how the UK national press has covered local decision-making on options for the integration of health and social care. In England, as part of a major restructuring of health services, the UK government has devolved significant decisions on reorganising services to local areas. This increasing ‘localism’ in healthcare has been a global trend, albeit an uneven one. The article assesses the insights of Amitai Etzioni and others, as applied to national newspaper coverage of local decisions. It finds Etzioni’s analysis to be not fully supported. Following other journalism research on the NHS, we show that contentious points of wider public interest were little reported on, such as international corporate influence and the potential for fragmentation across a national health service. © 2018, Springer Nature Limited. The attached document (embargoed until 27/11/2019) is an author produced version of a paper published in SOCIAL THEORY & HEALTH uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-347
JournalSocial Theory & Health
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2018


  • accountable care organisations; Amitai Etzioni; health and social care integration; health journalism; localism; NHS

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