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The consumer in public servicesChoice, values and difference$
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Richard Simmons, Martin Powell, and Ian Greener

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847421814

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847421814.001.0001

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The consumer in social care

The consumer in social care

(p.177) Ten The consumer in social care
The consumer in public services

Caroline Glendinning

Policy Press

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

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