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Title: Revalidation repercussions : contemporary regulatory reform within English maternity services
Author: Spendlove, Zoey
ISNI:       0000 0004 6351 4113
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2016
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Revalidation, as a government-led healthcare professional regulatory reform process, marks the largest and potentially the most significant development in the history of healthcare professional regulation within the United Kingdom (UK) National Health Service (NHS). Revalidation, as an emergent regulatory reform, is a professionalisation dilemma for healthcare professionals as it would appear to be diametrically opposed to the notion of professional autonomy and self­regulation; the theorised core characteristics of health professionalism (Dixon-Woods et al., 2011; Freidson, 1970a). At the time of implementation, the impact that this reform would have upon professional groups was unknown. The national rollout of revalidation therefore presented a real time opportunity to witness the operationalisation of such a top-down regulatory reform. Drawing on the concepts of professional 'licence and mandate' (Hughes, 1958) and the 'professional project' (Larson, 1977) as a theoretical framework, I used a focused ethnographic approach to answer the following research questions: Over-arching research question: How are regulatory mechanisms, such as revalidation, interpreted and utilised as part of a 'professional project'? Sub-questions: How is revalidation being implemented within an NHS organisation and how does this compare with national recommendations? How are plans for revalidation being received and implemented within maternity services? How are regulatory mechanisms such as revalidation impacting upon professional roles and responsibilities within maternity services? The overall contribution of my research study lies in providing insight into the intended and unintended consequences of revalidation as contemporary healthcare professional regulatory reform. From a practice perspective this study illustrates how formal regulatory mechanisms were shaped at local level by the informal processes of the research organisation. From a theoretical perspective this study challenges the concept of organisational professionalism (Evetts, 2012; McClelland, 1990), whereby national and organisational objectives, such as revalidation, are theorised to control and regulate professional groups. I argue that professionals engaged with revalidation as part of an ongoing, professional maintenance project of professional status and survival. This was an ultimate acknowledgement that in order to maintain a licence to practise (Hughes, 1958), engagement with revalidation was a statutory requirement.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available