Book Launch: Making the Patient Consumer: Patient Organisations and Health Consumerism in Britain

Alex Mold

In November, Alex Mold launched her latest book.  Making the Patient Consumer: Patient Organisations and Health Consumerism in Britain is based on research Alex conducted as part of a Wellcome Trust University Award.  The book, published by Manchester University Press, is the first empirical, historical account of a fundamental shift in modern British health policy and practice.

Making the Patient Consumer explores how, since the 1960s, British patients had been made in to consumers.  The development of patient-consumerism, from the 1960s to 2010, is examined in relation to seven key areas.  Patient autonomy, representation, complaint, rights, information, voice and choice were all central to the making of the patient-consumer.  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.

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