The National Health Service (NHS) is undergoing a period of significant reform, with the reintroduction of the internal market, a focus on patient choice and the controversial introduction of 'foundation hospitals' all central to New Labour's strategy for changing healthcare in the UK. This book contends that attempts to reform the NHS can only be understood by reference to both the wider social and political context, and to the organisational and ideational legacies present within the NHS itself. It aims to take students beyond a basic understanding of the historical development of health policy in the UK, to one that demonstrates an appreciation of the interactions between health policy, organisation and society. Continuity and change in the NHS: acts as a crucial bridge between conventional textbooks on the NHS and contemporary health policy research; provides a theoretically rigorous but accessible account of the development of policy and organisational change not found elsewhere; presents new scholarship in the political economy of welfare in a clear format. The book is aimed at third year and post-graduate students of politics, public management and health studies. It provides a theoretically inspired account of the development of health policy and organisation in the UK which will also be of interest to academics and researchers in the field.