Health and intergovernmental relations in the devolved United Kingdom

This report explains how devolution shapes health policy in the four countries of the UK.


Published: 14/07/2008

ISBN: 978-1-905030-30-9

Download the report [PDF 504.3KB]

Knowing how devolution in health really works – who can do what – matters much more now that all four UK governments are different political colours, increasingly disagree about major issues, and are more likely to be in conflict.

In this report, authors Scott Greer and Alan Trench

  • explain the legal and administrative underpinnings of devolution and how they shape the policies pursued in England, Scotland,Wales and Northern Ireland
  • identify the various kinds of tension building up along administrative and physical borders, and the likelihood of major intergovernmental conflict
  • explain the administrative and political dispute resolution mechanisms, which the authors find disturbingly weak

Drawn from research and extensive interviews carried over the last seven years, their thoughtful and insightful analysis is followed by recommendations for improvements that will have beneficial consequences for health policy.

Health and Intergovernmental Relations in the Devolved United Kingdom will be of interest to health policy-makers and leaders, and all those interested in how devolution is shaping politics and policy in Britain today.

Suggested citation

Greer S and Trench A (2008) Health and intergovernmental relations in the devolved United Kingdom. Research report. Nuffield Trust.