The family practitioner family : the use of metaphor in understanding changes in primary health care organizations

Warne, T and Stark, S 2003, 'The family practitioner family : the use of metaphor in understanding changes in primary health care organizations' , Primary Health Care Research & Development, 4 (4) , pp. 292-300.

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Current UK health policy guidance locates primary care at the frontiers of health care modernization. New organizational structures have resulted in general practitioner (GP) practices being brought together in Primary Care Groups (PCGs) and Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) each serving a much larger population group than the traditional GP practice. These changes have been accompanied with a need to explore new ways of working and thinking. This paper draws upon the experiences of nurses and GPs participating in an evaluation of workforce planning issues in primary health care. It explores how practitioners working in PCGs across one geographical area were able to gain a better understanding of what these changes, to both the structure and process of practice, might involve. During this developmental process the respondents used ‘the family’ metaphor, as a form of ‘shorthand’ to orientate themselves to the new responsibilities, challenges and opportunities presented by these changes to primary health care. It was in the use of terms and constructs that were familiar to their ‘everyday life’ experiences that made taking the first tentative steps in the change process easier. This paper suggests that using metaphors may be a powerful tool for policy makers, practitioners,managers and for researchers as they seek to communicate a plan for change and in understanding what these changes might mean.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > HQ503 The family. Marriage. Home
Health and Wellbeing
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: Primary Health Care Research & Development
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 14634236
Related URLs:
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2007 09:23
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 07:34

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