Platform NHS: Reconfiguring a Public Service in the Age of Digital Capitalism

Rachel Faulkner Gurstein*, David Wyatt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The platform is emerging as a key organizational form and operational logic of contemporary capitalism, intimately tied to financialization and assetization. However, discussions to date have focused on platforms and platformization in the context of the private, corporate, and technology sectors. In this paper, we develop an analysis of how platformization operates in the context of public policy. Using the UK’s National Health Service as a case study, we explore how platformization is altering the form and function of the state. The platformization of the NHS has its roots in the UK government’s strategic interest in the development of the bioeconomy. This led to the creation of a research infrastructure within the health service. Subsequently, the NHS has leveraged various assets into a range of data- and technology-focused initiatives. We argue that platformization has been a major form of neoliberalization within the NHS. The paper concludes with a discussion of what an analysis of public platformization can teach us about ongoing transformations of the state.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience, Technology and Human Values
VolumeOnline First
Issue numberOnline First
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2021


  • Platform
  • platformization
  • assetization
  • public organization
  • bioeconomy
  • digital capitalism


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