In this context chapter, we look back and look forward at the development of health and social care policy, provision and practice relating to disabled service users. We begin by critically considering some key concepts, such as professional and carer, formal and informal carer, to set the scene for an exploration of the historical context of the work of health and social care professionals with disabled people. This takes us first into the developing history as generated by disabled people themselves, challenging the official history as documented by non-disabled academics and service providers. We then briefly summarize the developments of policy, provision and practice, from the creation of the welfare state, through the NHS and Community Care Act, to the Disability Discrimination Act.
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