With Dr Jane Lethbridge, Director, Public Services International Research Unit, University of Greenwich
Jane Lethbridge specialises in the analysis of global commercialisation of health and social care and its impact on health and social care workers, social dialogue and trade union responses to liberalisation and privatisation. She has worked on public health issues in the UK and internationally, for over 20 years, with experience of management and project implementation in both the public and NGO sectors. She is currently writing a book on ‘Democratic professionalism in public services’.
The privatisation of health services in the UK since 1991 has been a gradual process of contracting and outsourcing facilities management services and some clinical services with attempts to outsource health care management. This process has been paralleled by the growing influence of the private sector in the Department of Health and the replacement of hospitals through the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). The privatisation of social care services has taken a different path. Following the introduction of the internal market for social care in 1991, social care services were privatised rapidly. Provision is now dominated by private providers. The effects of this on the quality of social care will be outlined.