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Scandal, social policy and social welfare2nd, Rev. Ed$
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Ian Butler

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347466

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347466.001.0001

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‘Mere oblivion’:

‘Mere oblivion’:

The fate of the institution and the advent of 113 community care

(p.113) six ‘Mere oblivion’:
Scandal, social policy and social welfare

Ian Butler

Mark Drakeford

Policy Press

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

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