Chapter

The consumer in social care

Caroline Glendinning

in The consumer in public services

Published by Policy Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9781847421814
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303725 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847421814.003.0010
The consumer in social care

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The particular characteristics of social care itself may have contributed to the early introduction of consumer-style mechanisms within the sector, ahead of other public services. This chapter first describes the distinctive nature of social care and argues that there are some very important reasons for paying attention to the exercise of choice in its provision and delivery. It then outlines the introduction and development of consumerist policies and mechanisms within the sector over the past two decades, with a particular focus on policies since 2005. In principle, these mechanisms should go some considerable way to meeting the demands of disabled and older people for greater choice and control over their social care support. However, they also raise important concerns about the nature of collectively funded services; about the balance between individual and collective responsibilities; and about the new roles of citizen-consumers.

Keywords: social care; consumerism; consumer-style mechanisms; public services; citizen-consumers; disabled people

Chapter.  7505 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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