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Making the patient-consumerPatient organisations and health consumerism in Britain$
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Alex Mold

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719095313

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719095313.001.0001

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(p.192) Conclusion
Making the patient-consumer

Alex Mold

Manchester University Press

The Conclusion to the book reflects on its key themes through an analysis of recent developments around autonomy; representation; complaint; rights; information; voice and choice. Such a survey provides an indication of the distance travelled by the patient-consumer over the last 50 years. Many of the demands put forward by patient-consumer organisations appear to have been met. But numerous problems remain. It is difficult to see how patient-consumers can overcome completely the power imbalance with health professionals, and many issues, like complaints, are likely to remain fractious. The tension between individual demands and collective needs also persists, and though more attention is undoubtedly paid to individual desires such as choice, shared aspirations have not fallen away entirely. Rights talk, first employed by patient-consumer organisations in the 1970s, continues to hold groups and individuals in its thrall, despite its many drawbacks. History cannot predict the future, but these long-running issues seem set to continue.

Keywords:   NHS Constitution, Autonomy, Representation, Complaint, Rights, Information, Voice, Choice

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