Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Healthcare scandals and the failings of doctors: do official inquiries hold the profession to account?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Author(s)

Russell Mannion, Huw Davies, Martin Powell, John Blenkinsopp, Ross Millar, Jean McHale, Nick Snowden

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore whether official inquiries are an effective method for holding the medical profession to account for failings in the quality and safety of care.

Design/methodology/approach – Through a review of the theoretical literature on professions and documentary analysis of key public inquiry documents and reports in the UK National Health Service (NHS) the authors examine how the misconduct of doctors can be understood using the metaphor of professional
wrongdoing as a product of bad apples, bad barrels or bad cellars.
Findings – The wrongdoing literature tends to present an uncritical assumption of increasing sophistication in analysis, as the focus moves from bad apples (individuals) to bad barrels (organisations) and more latterly to bad cellars (the wider system). This evolution in thinking about wrongdoing is also visible in public inquiries, as analysis and recommendations increasingly tend to emphasise cultural and systematic issues. Yet, while organisational and systemic factors are undoubtedly important, there is a need to keep in sight the role of individuals, for two key reasons. First, there is growing evidence that a small number of doctors may be disproportionately responsible for large numbers of complaints and concerns. Second, there is a risk that the role of individual professionals in drawing attention to wrongdoing is being neglected.
Originality/value - To the best of the authors’ knowledge this is the first theoretical and empirical study specifically exploring the role of NHS inquiries in holding the medical profession to account for failings in professional practice.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-240
JournalJournal of Health Organization and Management
Volume33
Issue number2
Early online date5 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2019

    Research areas

  • Sociology, Doctors, Medical professions, Safety, Quality

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Embedding researchers into organisations: a study of the features of embedded research initiatives

    Ward, V., Davies, H. T. O., Reid, B., Tooman, T. R. & Marshall, M., 19 Apr 2021, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Evidence & Policy. FirstView, 22 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. A framework to support the design and cultivation of embedded research initiatives

    Ward, V., Tooman, T. R., Reid, B., Davies, H., O'Brien, B., Mear, L. & Marshall, M., 19 Apr 2021, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Evidence & Policy. First View, 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. The case of the disappearing whistleblower: an analysis of National Health Service inquiries

    Powell, M., Blenkinsopp, J., Davies, H., Mannion, R., Millar, R., McHale, J. & Snowden, N., 22 Mar 2021, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Public Money and Management. Latest Articles, 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Whistleblowing over patient safety and care quality: a review of the literature

    Blenkinsopp, J., Snowden, N., Manion, R., Powell, M., Davies, H. T. O., Millar, R. & McHale, J., 15 Sep 2019, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Journal of Health Organization and Management. 33, 6, p. 737-756

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  5. Raising and responding to frontline concerns in healthcare

    Mannion, R. & Davies, H., 19 Aug 2019, In: The BMJ. 366, l4944.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Whistleblowing over patient safety and care quality: a review of the literature

    Blenkinsopp, J., Snowden, N., Manion, R., Powell, M., Davies, H. T. O., Millar, R. & McHale, J., 15 Sep 2019, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Journal of Health Organization and Management. 33, 6, p. 737-756

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  2. Budgeting and performance management in the Italian National Health System (INHS): Assessment and constructive criticism

    Mannion, R., Davies, H. T. O., Lega, F. & Vendramini, E., 21 Mar 2008, In: Journal of Health Organization and Management. 22, 1, p. 11-22 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  3. Incentives in health systems; developing theory, investigating practice

    Mannion, R. & Davies, H. T. O., 2008, In: Journal of Health Organization and Management. 22, 1, p. 5-10

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Whither British General Practice after the 2004 GMS contract? Stories and realities of change in four UK general practices

    Huby, G., Guthrie, B., Grant, S., Watkins, F., Checkland, KH., McDonald, ER. & Davies, H. T. O., 2008, In: Journal of Health Organization and Management. 1, p. 63-78

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 257794305

Top