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The University of Southampton
Southampton Ethics Centre

'Standards and Stories: Articulating 'quality' in health care' - HEAL Seminar Series Event

13:00 - 14:00
20 January 2016
Building 4 Room 4055 (Law), University of Southampton, University Road, SO17 1BJ.

Event details

On Wednesday 20 January 2016 we will host the sixth session in the 2015-16 HEAL seminar series, with Deborah Swinglehurst, Senior Clinical Lecturer at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry on Standards and Stories: Articulating ‘quality’ in health care. All welcome and we hope to see you there.

‘Quality’ is important to health care and has become a powerful driver of health policy and practice. But what do we mean by ‘quality’ in health care and how confident are we that our efforts to improve it are securing real and important positive changes to the delivery and organisation of care and to the lives of our patients? It is increasingly recognised that the pursuit and measurement of quality in healthcare often fails to deliver anticipated benefits and may have perverse consequences, undermining rather than strengthening the characteristics it seeks to assure, and requiring excessive data gathering by health care staff: the ‘quality paradox’. In June 2013 I organised a one day colloquium at Cumberland Lodge entitled “The Many Meanings of ‘Quality’ in Health Care: Interdisciplinary Perspectives”. It brought together health professionals, academics and patient representatives to unpack the notion of ‘quality’ through presentations, workshops, discussion and debate. I went on to edit an open-access cross-journal interdisciplinary collection of the same name with publisher Biomed Central, comprising 17 academic papers written by contributors to the colloquium and their collaborators. In this presentation I will describe this project, present some of the main themes which emerged from the work and draw on the excellent contributions of my fellow contributors to articulate some suggestions for constructive approaches to improving the ‘quality’ of care, and moving beyond the quality paradox.

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