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What’s in a name: ‘client’, ‘patient’, ‘customer’, ‘consumer’, ‘expert by experience’, ‘service User’—What’s Next?

McLaughlin, H 2009, 'What’s in a name: ‘client’, ‘patient’, ‘customer’, ‘consumer’, ‘expert by experience’, ‘service User’—What’s Next?' , British Journal of Social Work, 39 , pp. 1101-1117.

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    This article challenges the terms we use to describe the relationship between those who assess and commission services and those who are the recipient of those services. In particular, the article identifies the different terms that have been used in British social work, including ‘client’, ‘customer’, ‘consumer’, ‘service user’ and ‘expert by experience’, highlighting their assumptive worlds and the relationships the terms suggest and signify. Service user (the most popular term at present) is highlighted and critically analysed and found to be increasingly problematic and unable to describe the complexities of the service–recipient relationship. Alternative terms are discussed and found wanting, whilst a possible way forward is suggested to avoid the negative connotations of any one particular term.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Service user, consumer, customer, expert by experience
    Themes: Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
    Subjects outside of the University Themes
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care
    Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences > Centre for Social Justice Research
    Journal or Publication Title: British Journal of Social Work
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Refereed: Yes
    ISSN: 0045-3102
    Depositing User: H McLaughlin
    Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2009 10:11
    Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:59

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