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Debating the division of labour in healthcare in France and England

Debating the division of labour in healthcare in France and England

Meerabeau, Elizabeth (2008) Debating the division of labour in healthcare in France and England. In: British Sociological Association 40th Annual Conference, 4-6 Sep 2008, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK. (Unpublished)

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As Larson (1990) states, professions are historically specific and ‘there is no pattern of social closure around an occupation that is not inflected by the latter’s past, its specific activity and typical context of performance or…the political context in which closure is obtained.’ Larson’s work focuses particularly on the differences between the establishment of professions in France, where there was considerable state intervention, with that in the US and UK, both of which were more market-oriented. This paper is based on data from an evaluation of a large European exchange programme of staff between Kent and Lille, from 2005 to 2008 and discusses the division of labour in healthcare between two occupational groups, medicine and nursing, in England and in France. This division of labour has been extensively discussed in the UK, particularly since from the mid 1990s the nursing role has been extended and innovations such as nurse prescribing have been introduced, whereas such extended roles have not been introduced in France. The paper draws particularly on interview data from mental health practitioners, in which it is argued that whilst the English nurses may on the surface seem to have a wider range of competences and autonomy, in reality they are more constrained, as they operate under protocols and therefore do not exercise professional judgement. Not only do these data illustrate the centrality of professional judgement in discussions about practice, they also demonstrate the circularity of many debates on extended roles.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Additional Information: Presented at British Sociological Association 40th Annual Conference, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, 4-5 September 2008. AGM held Friday 5th September 2008 during the 40th Annual Conference. Paper session: Professional Issues and Boundaries BH237.
Uncontrolled Keywords: division of labour, healthcare, France, England, nursing
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
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Last Modified: 07 Oct 2019 12:14
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
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