Participative Public Services

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Project by Demos, UK


"The Participative Public Services project will explore how to make participative, person-centred approaches to social care the norm over the next three to five years. It aims to spread a new 'operating system' for social care in which people become participants in shaping, commissioning and delivering their care, rather than passive, dependent and sometimes vulnerable and confused recipients of what the system deems them to be eligible to and what it can provide.

To extend and propogate existing models of person-centred care across the whole of social care in the UK requires a transformation of every aspect of the system: assessment, regulation, the distribution of funding and service provision and professional roles.

The scale of that transformation raises risks and obstacles that will be used by opponents to water down proposals and slow change. Proposals for more participative public services run the risk of sounding utopian unless they are clearly grounded in practical experience.

Demos has worked extensively in the public sector developing new models of service provision, including a major review of social care in Scotland, which recommended a more participative and personalised approach. This project will take that work further, through working with policy makers, local authority staff, service providers and users of social care services, it aims to develop a new approach to public servcies based on participation and contol." (