CFS: Service User Involvement (Publ Mgmt Rev)

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Public Management Review: Service User Involvement in Healthcare

Editors: Graeme Currie, Warwick Business School; Nellie El Enany, Warwick Business School; Martin Kitchener, Cardiff Business School

Service user involvement has become a prominent area of healthcare policy across much of the developed world. Recent studies of this phenomenon have typically portrayed user involvement as a promising vehicle for delivering benefits including: improved professional accountability, extended lay expertise in decision-making, enhanced information for users, and increased innovation in provision (Crawford et al., 2002). In analysing why service user involvement may prove challenging, three main themes have emerged. First, service user representativeness has been widely cited as a key concern in service user involvement initiatives. Consequently, some service user groups may go unrepresented, particularly those more socially excluded from society who may be hard to reach out to, or those whose condition (e.g. a significant mental health problem) may render them less articulate. Second, healthcare professionals and managers may merely play the ‘service user card’ to legitimise their own interests. Healthcare professionals and managers may select the “right” service user, whom they regard as articulate, and/or who shows the requisite amount of enthusiasm for involvement in decision making about service development. Healthcare professionals and managers may use their positional power as ‘gatekeepers’ to marginalise those service users who do not serve professional interests. Third, service users can become ‘insiders’ and partners to healthcare professionals and managers, so that they become co-opted into the latters’ interests, and so prove difficult to supplant with other, more representative service users, with evidence that a hierarchy of service user involvement emerges (Martin, 2008).

To advance conceptual and empirical understandings of user involvement healthcare, the editors of this Special Issue of Public Management Review welcome submissions that offer more critical reflection upon service user involvement. Submissions can be empirically based, using quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods, or theoretical. We particularly encourage submissions beyond those national contexts in which service user involvement is commonly examined. Overall, we seek to encourage debate and help shape greater theoretical and empirical analysis of service user involvement in healthcare, linking literatures in public policy, health services research and socialscience research.

Submission details/deadlines /contact: Note the submission deadline is May 30th 2013, with the expectation that the Special Issue is published mid- 2014. It is planned that the editors will convene a specialist track on this theme at the IRSPM conference in April 2013 (see  for details).

In the first instance, potential contributors may contact one of the editorial team for the Special Issue to discuss their proposed submission:  ;  ;  . Please submit manuscripts through Public Management Review submission site, clearly identifying that it is to be considered for the Special Issue, at the same time sending a copy to:

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