When comparisons are onerous

Posted on May 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

Long before the Government unveiled the NHS on-line hospital comparison facility, the right to choice had been trotted out as often as a well-exercised dog; a policy emphasis which had been made equally powerfully for adult social care. So much for the view from the summit of power. On the ground, meanwhile, behaviour patterns suggest that people are less than convinced. Certainly, they don’t seem to shop around for care home services with the same diligence they bring to booking a week-end break or buying a tumble dryer. Why? Perhaps they don’t have the tools for the job. Economists refer to the predicament in terms of the interaction of perfect knowledge and perfect choice in the creation of perfect competition. Dealing first with the dynamics of choice, let’s be clear about the key role of spare capacity. Slack in the system not only widens the range of options from which people can select, it also sharpens competition between service providers. Capacity alone can have a significant impact on the lat

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