In the peripheries of excellence, providing a service is the main task. Professor Nichol says that describing a child psychiatry service to managers is easy (Third Section Newsletter). I say it is and it is not. The way he does it follows the traditional bioscientific medical pattern and logic - number and range of cases and diagnoses etc. Health managers at a first glance may be quite happy with this ‘biomedical’-looking picture. But I believe that in their second glance they can tell that these expensive child psychiatrists, who just sit in rooms talking, are not dealing with the same thing as surgeons and physicians.
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