Am I a consumer of health and social care?
We have paid as taxpayers and we have certain expectations which we think should be met.
Anna Bradley, Chair of Healthwatch England
The concept of rights is a familiar one in many areas of our lives. Nowhere more so than on the high street.
But ‘consumer’ is an uncomfortable word for some people in health and social care.
People have told us that they are grateful for the support they get (even if it is not up to scratch) because they know the NHS is largely free at the point of use, the staff are stretched and the system is under financial pressure.
We may not be paying at the point at which we’re getting these services, although sometimes we are, but we have paid as taxpayers and we have certain expectations which we think should be met.
In our discussions, we found that the term ‘consumer’ helps people (and professionals) sit up and ask new questions; it helps people to think differently. For this reason we think borrowing from the consumer world will be helpful.