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Learning from History: Markets in Social Care

Thursday 15 March 2012, 18:15

The Institute for Government organised a series of high-profile events to explore what history can teach us about the politics and practicalities of increasing choice and competition in the provision public services. This was the second event in the series.
This event, on Markets in Social Care, explored the lessons learned from the period between 1992, when the independent sector provided just 2% of state-funded adult home care, to today, where more than 80% is provided by that sector.  The proportion of residential care provided by the independent sector also rose dramatically during this period.

Leading protagonists and observers of past changes drew on their experiences to discuss:

  • The political dynamics behind long-term changes
  • The practical barriers to market-making and public service reform
  • The steps and ‘path dependencies’ in the process of market-making
  • Relevant insights for the current reform agenda, as well as for similar reforms in other service areas

Panel speakers:

  • Phil Hope – former Minister of State for Care Services, Director of Improving Care and Adjunct Professor, Imperial College
  • David Behan – Director General (Social Care, Local Government & Health Partnerships), Department of Health
  • Dame Denise Platt – former Chair of the Commission for Social Care Inspection
  • Richard Humphries – Senior Fellow (Social Care), The King's Fund
  • Peter Hay – President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services


  • Nick Timmins – Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government and The King's Fund, author of The Five Giants: A Biography of the Welfare State.