Austerity is denying patients and care service users a voice
For years, the mantra in public services has been that patient participation and user involvement are key, and that service providers should listen to what their customers want. Here lies the route towards empowerment and cost-effectiveness. A whole literature and new ways of working have developed, and requirements for such involvement are enshrined in law.
Over the past 40 years, this movement for participation has led to some profoundly important innovations in policy, practice and research.
User involvement in professional education was pioneered in social work, where service user and carer involvement is required at all stages. Students, service users, carers and educators all strongly support such involvement and see it as a key way of improving the culture of practice.