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Innovation without Change?

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Abstract

What we are experiencing in mental illness services is the rhetoric of participation and userism rather than actual practice. It has become highly fashionable to be a ‘consumerist’. As we have seen, that means vastly different things to different people. To most it simply means improvements in quality: ‘consumer choice is another form of quality control ... better information is a central aspect of this choice’ (Secretary of State, 1989). To some it means the genuine extension of democratic processes — users appointing staff, managing budgets and, if desired, taking their individualised funding and designing their own services.

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© David Brandon 1991

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