Disrespecting the Professionals

 
If the world was to explode the last thing to be heard would be an expert explaining why it wouldn't happen. The type of thing Michael Grove might say although it was in fact said by the late Peter Ustinov.
 
When did we become so anti professionals? This government doesn't listen to teachers, doctors, nurses or social workers. The last government didn't listen to professionals either. It seems that governments routinely dismiss the views of any group who might have experience and expertise in the area under discussion. When did we move from,"doctor knows best", to MPs know best? Why have successive governments devalued the views of those actually doing the job ? Why do those in power assume that teachers, nurses, doctors and social workers views only reflect self interest and not the benefit of the pupil, patient or client.  

In the past managerialism was seen as the enemy of professionalism. Managers were focused on budgets at the expense of best practise. There must be eligibility criteria, there must be standardised practise, there must be value for money and services must stay within there budget. But managerialism was also about being customer focused and providing more responsive services. Inevitably this resulted in management led changes. These changes were sometimes resisted if they " inconvenienced" staff but in general professionals accept the need for change where it can be shown to improve the service users experience.

The government's Austerity measures have introduced changes which do not benefit service users  and are unashamedly about reducing spending, making savings, imposing cuts, enforced reductions and opening up services to the private sector. It goes against the grain for professionals to implement changes that make life more difficult for those they seek to help.

Now its left to teachers, doctors, nurses and social workers to champion the needs of pupils, patients and clients and to make the government aware of the inconvenient reality of their policies. Which may explain why the government doesn't want to listen to what professionals have to say. 

Blair McPherson former director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk

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3 Comments

JE
jane evans 3 Years Ago
Is it really about government? Is the sea change in levels of respect for professionals more about the expectations of people who come into contact with professionals? People expect a high standard - and rightly so! The general approach from so many professionals appears to be 'we're in charge - do as we say' but is that really acceptable? Think back to pre google days. Professional knowledge was jealously guarded and hidden from public view - those with the knowledge knew best - apparently! These days anybody can access anything, discover rights, rules and regulations. Discover the systems for disciplinary actions when the professional gets it wrong. Discover the systems for correct provsion/ diagnosis/ tretament etc. Everybody can be informed about everything that effects their lives - and rightly so. The approach should be partnersip and choice - not 'we know best'.
Blair McPherson 3 Years Ago
No one wants to go back to the days when professions were above questioning and teachers, doctors and social workers paid little regard to the views of parents, patients and clients.I think professional standards have improved over the last 20 years. I do not think professionals only act out of self intrest but being professional they view themselves as having a duty advocate on behalf of those they trained to help. This the government does not recognise or accept because it is inconvenient.
FM
Former Member 3 Years ago in reply to Blair McPherson .
I think you make some excellent points. I think that our current government are pro an elitist 2 tiered education (and health) system, so those that can afford it move to the upper tier and pay for it, and those that can't stay in the lower tier. I think that there's some opinion that if you don't earn enough to be rich then you don't work hard enough and it's your own fault - equally if you do earn enough then that's a result of your own hard work and you are deserving of a better class of service which you can now afford. (please note I do not agree with this opinion). I strongly believe that's why the government don't really listen to professionals (such as in education or health) because I don't think that it's on their agenda to make the state systems the best that they can be. It's more than it being inconvenient for the government - in my opinion it is a wilful disregard by the government for state services for people who are not wealthy.