Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 September 2007
The involvement of service users as active participants is a stated aim of many current developments within health and social care, and self-assessment has been identified as a key mechanism. For over 15 years, the UK Department of Health has referred to the importance of the service user's views in assessment, and this has been re-emphasized recently in guidance issued to both local authorities social services and the NHS. The concept of the expert patient and the promotion of self-care amongst people with long-term conditions are also highlighted as central to current NHS development. Although not specified as such, self-assessment is an important component of these person-centred initiatives which encourage self-diagnosis, self-monitoring and self-management.