This article highlights challenges faced by researchers in the Department of Health's programme of research on Modernising Adult Social Care in trying to assess the impact of reform on service users. It explores the changing relationship between service users and service providers, focusing in particular on the author's own research as part of an ESRC/AHRB‐funded project on Creating citizenconsumers: changing relationships and identifications. Rather than a one‐way relationship between policy reform and user impact, the article highlights the importance of bringing users into the research process itself.
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