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Manchester University Press

Making the patient-consumer: Patient organisations and health consumerism in Britain

Making the patient-consumer: Patient organisations and health consumerism in Britain

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Over the last fifty years, British patients have been made into consumers. Since the 1960s, concepts common within consumerism have found a place in health policy and practice. In a short space of time, the position of patients in Britain appears to have changed fundamentally. Until relatively recently, it was not uncommon for patients to be told little about the condition that they were suffering from or its likely outcome. That such a situation would be (almost) inconceivable today points not only to changes in the doctorDSpatient relationship, but also to a wider shift in the way in which patients see themselves and are seen by others. This book aims to explore how and why such a shift took place, and why it was that these changes were framed by the concept of consumerism.

Making the patient-consumer explores the development of patient-consumerism from the 1960s to 2010 in relation to seven key areas: patient autonomy, representation, complaint, rights, information, voice and choice. These concepts were used initially by patient organisations to construct the figure of the patient-consumer, but by the 1990s the government had taken over as the main actor shaping ideas about patient consumerism.

Making the patient-consumer is the first empirical, historical account of a fundamental shift in modern British health policy and practice. The book will be of use to historians, public policy analysts and all those attempting to better understand the nature of contemporary healthcare.


Author: Alex Mold
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Published: 07/01/2015
Pages: 256
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.15lbs
Size: 9.30h x 6.20w x 1.00d
ISBN: 9780719095313

About the Author

Alex Mold is Lecturer in History in the Centre for History in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

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