It is often suggested that professional and managerial attitudes significantly delimit the impact of new structures for enhancing the role and influence of service users in health and social care planning. Considers the existence and clarity of such managerial attitudes in the context of one attempt to involve users in mental health care planning. The existence of latent and explicit managerial parameters to the role played by users in the planning of services was confirmed by the research at a very general level. Perhaps inevitably though, even in relation to a very specific user participation project, these parameters became less uniform as more detailed issues were considered. This suggests that an investigative focus on the “process” oriented attitudes and assumptions of managers and professionals, although important, should not be allowed to detract from a concern with gauging the demonstrable outcomes of user participation.
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