IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The voluntary sector and health policy: The role of national level health consumer and patients' organisations in the UK


  • Baggott, Rob
  • Jones, Kathryn


This article explores the policy role of health consumer and patients' organisations (HCPOs), an important subset of the UK voluntary health sector. Based on research findings from two surveys, the article examines the activities, resources and contacts of HCPOs. It also assesses their impact on health policy and reform. There is some evidence that HCPOs can influence policy and reform. However, much depends on the alliances they build with other policy actors (including other HCPOs), their resources and leadership. HCPOs seem to have more impact on the detail of policy than on the direction of travel. In addition, there are potentially adverse consequences for HCPOs that do engage with the policy process, which may partly explain why some are wary of such involvement. For example, it is possible that HCPOs can be manipulated by government and other powerful policy actors such as health professionals and the drugs industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Baggott, Rob & Jones, Kathryn, 2014. "The voluntary sector and health policy: The role of national level health consumer and patients' organisations in the UK," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 202-209.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:123:y:2014:i:c:p:202-209
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.07.016

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kendall, Jeremy, 2000. "The mainstreaming of the third sector into public policy in England in the late 1990s: whys and wherefores," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 29028, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Baggott, Rob & Jones, Kathryn L., 2011. "Prevention better than cure? Health consumer and patients' organisations and public health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(4), pages 530-534, August.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:93:y:1999:i:01:p:1-13_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Hemminki, Elina & Toiviainen, Hanna K. & Vuorenkoski, Lauri, 2010. "Co-operation between patient organisations and the drug industry in Finland," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(8), pages 1171-1175, April.
    5. Rabeharisoa, Vololona, 2006. "From representation to mediation: The shaping of collective mobilization on muscular dystrophy in France," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 564-576, February.
    6. Salter, Brian, 2003. "Patients and doctors: reformulating the UK health policy community?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(5), pages 927-936, September.
    7. Crossley, Nick, 2006. "The field of psychiatric contention in the UK, 1960-2000," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 552-563, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Epstein, Steven, 2016. "The politics of health mobilization in the United States: The promise and pitfalls of “disease constituencies”," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 246-254.
    2. repec:bla:glopol:v:8:y:2017:i::p:133-138 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:bla:glopol:v:8:y:2017:i:s2:p:133-138 is not listed on IDEAS


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:123:y:2014:i:c:p:202-209. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.