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Ethics in extraordinary times - practitioner experiences during the pandemic

18 Jun 2021 | Professor Deborah Bowman
  • Research Papers

We commissioned Professor Deborah Bowman to carry out research. This report is the result and it describes how the pandemic shaped and altered the ethical experiences of practitioners

Why did we commission this research?

We commissioned Professor Bowman to conduct research to explore the ethical experiences of practitioners working in health and social care professions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

How was the research carried out?

The research methods comprised a scoping literature review, interviews and focus groups conducted with practitioners from a range of professions.

What does the research reveal?

This research presents a picture of nuance and complexity. The ethical experiences of practitioners across the professions have taken a significant personal and systemic toll and will inform practitioner and patient experiences for years to come. The report concludes that this research suggests it is time to think about and approach ethics in a different way that is grounded in the experience of practitioners and focuses on building ethical confidence and capability. Specifically, by focusing on moral distress, the ethics of care, the role of judgement and practical ways of providing ethical support, learning from the pandemic will be grounded in what has been experienced and has significant potential.

The report makes recommendations for regulators, but also those interested in ethical practice. Those recommendations reflect the findings of this research and invite reflection, collaboration, learning and development in the interests of professionals and patients.

Read more about why we commissioned this research in Douglas Bilton's blog, which goes into detail about the idea of relational regulation.