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Using online reviews in social care

Authors
Publisher
Personal Social Services Research Unit
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Hv Social Pathology. Social And Public Welfare. Criminology
  • Ra0421 Public Health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Disciplines
  • Design

Abstract

The emphasis placed on choice of social care provider means that there is an increasing need to furnish service users with reliable and up-to-date information on provider quality. In England, encouraging users and their carers to leave online feedback on providers is seen as one of the ways of improving the supply of information. However, using these channels for social care raises a number of issues, for example, the challenge of generating enough content to be of value, and the need to protect the anonymity of potentially vulnerable users. This paper aims to summarise these issues, by drawing upon the experiences of established review sites such as TripAdvisor and Amazon, as well as literature on decision-making and behaviour across social care and other sectors. The paper concludes that online reviews could assist in supporting both users and their carers to choose providers, however, they will need to be supported by carefully designed processes to maximise their usefulness.

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