Any review of service user involvement must acknowledge the progress that has been made in recent years. In the early 1980s service users were usually passive recipients of their own care and treatment and had little or no collective involvement, even in voluntary organisations that claimed to be speaking on their behalf. The few independent service user groups that existed were marginalised and lacked significant resources. In 1985 the House of Commons Social Services Select Committee Report on Community Care (1985) complained about the difficulty “of hearing the authentic voice of the ultimate consumers of community care”.
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