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Implementing Co-Production in Adult Social Care: An Example of Meta-Governance Failure?

  • Peter Scourfield (a1)


The idea of ‘co-production’ has been promoted by both New Labour and Coalition governments as a means to help ‘transform’ adult social care. With its emphasis on active citizenship, community support networks, voluntary effort and power sharing, the idea might have been expected to have been received more enthusiastically by those expected to put it into practice and benefit from it. However, unlike other ‘big ideas’ intended to ‘transform’ adult social care, such as ‘personal budgets’, co-production has gained comparatively little traction with either local authorities or service users. Despite the publication of much promotional literature in recent years, co-production has not yet become a significant part of either official or lay discourse on adult social care. It is concluded that apart from definitional problems and conceptual ambiguity, the inability of successive governments to effectively deploy common techniques of meta-governance might also be contributory factors to its sluggish take up.



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