Professionalism and person-centredness: developing a new approach to leadership within NHS maternity services in the UK

Ruth Deery, Pamela Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
92 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper, based on data taken from in-depth interviews with senior midwives and obstetricians and conducted as part of a critical ethnographic study, argues for a greater appreciation of person-centred, value-led midwifery practice. The paper begins with a discussion of the way midwifery practice is shaped by encoded and embodied knowledge. The paper subsequently focuses on an emergent practice-based leadership using an adapted Aristotelian conceptual framework derived from MacIntyre [(2007). After virtue (3rd ed.). London: Duckworth]. Professional dissonance is highlighted as a difficulty experienced by repositioned managers who are also expected to be leaders in their field. Using data gathered from in-depth interviews it is contended that establishing person-centred care might be better achieved through the development of practice-based leadership (rather than solely by adherence to organisational requirements). This type of leadership could potentially nurture a professional environment that promotes qualities such as agency, commitment and high levels of competence among midwives. Such leadership is central to UK government priorities and is applicable to a global practice development agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-159
Number of pages17
JournalHealth Sociology Review
Volume26
Issue number2
Early online date13 Apr 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • midwifery
  • person-centred approach
  • MacIntyre
  • professionalism
  • professional dissonance
  • autonomy

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