‘Mere oblivion’:

Ian Butler and Mark Drakeford

in Scandal, social policy and social welfare

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9781861347466
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303312 | DOI:
‘Mere oblivion’:

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The Ely Hospital scandal marks a historic moment in Britain, ushering in an avalanche of scandal in mental-health institutions that was to last for nearly fifteen years. This chapter traces the history of mental-health policy during this period and onwards to the New Labour government of 1997. It concentrates upon the interplay between social policy and scandal, employing three further concepts – scandal inflation, scandal fatigue, and policy hegemony – in an attempt to cast fresh light upon the relationship between the two dimensions. The institutional Reports of this period reveal the extent to which scandals relied upon routes other than official complaints procedures to bring them to light. Normansfield Hospital represents the end of the line for major institutional scandals in the field of mental health and marked the advent of community care.

Keywords: Ely Hospital; scandals; Britain; mental-health institutions; mental-health policy; scandal inflation; scandal fatigue; policy hegemony; Normansfield Hospital; community care

Chapter.  11384 words. 

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