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Title: Citizens advice in GP surgeries : an investigation
Author: Kite, Alison
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 6346
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis investigates the delivery of outreach Citizens Advice services in GP surgeries. Research has shown that there are links between the experience of legal problems and poverty and social exclusion and that many people have difficulty accessing advice services to get help with these problems. However, there is limited quantitative evidence which compares experiences of accessibility across different advice settings. In addition, research on the outcomes of advice has focused on the financial benefits and the impact of advice on health. There is less evidence available of the effect of advice on issues of powerlessness and stigmatisation, both of which are central to the experience of poverty and social exclusion. Furthermore, much of the research on access to advice services in the UI< has ignored scholarship which explores the sOcially constructed nature of law and the ways in which law contributes towards processes of disempowerment and exclusion. This thesis therefore draws on the scholarship of legal consciousness studies to explore three questions. How does delivering advice in a GP surgery contribute towards the accessibility of advice? To what extent and in what ways do such services empower people? And how do such services shape the ways in which people experience and understand law? The research was carried out using a mixed methods design involving a survey of Citizens Advice clients and qualitative interviews with advisers and advice clients. The findings provide evidence that the provision of advice services in a GP surgery helps to address the difficulties which people face when seeking advice. The findings show that the majority of advice clients are not motivated to seek advice by concerns about rights and that many experience law as a disempowering, disciplinary power. However, the findings also demonstrate that advice clients tell another more empowering story of 'law as resistance'. The findings will be of interest to researchers and academics in the fields of socio-legal studies and poverty and social exclusion research, as well as practitioners and policy makers concerned with issues of poverty, social exclusion and access to justice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available