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Never Again? The story of the Health and Social Care Act 2012

A study in coalition government and policy making

‘Never Again?’ tells the story of how and why the Health and Social Care Act 2012 – by far the most controversial piece of NHS legislation in more than two decades – became law. It relates the story of a political thriller – from the legislation’s origins 20 years ago, through the development of the 2010 white paper “Liberating the NHS” and the resultant bill; a bill so controversial that it appeared at times as though the Government might lose it. It does so from the view point of opponents and critics, but also from the point of view of the man with whom this legislation is uniquely identified – the current health secretary. On the way, it explains just what it was that Andrew Lansley was trying to do and why the bill was so vast and controversial.