June 11, 2020

Politicians, Managers and Experts – the balance of responsibilities

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:15 am by Aleksan

As a Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry I often found myself in meetings with Health, Education and Social Services Managers to advise on what was best for the patients, students or clients I had assessed on their behalves.

When I explained what treatments or placements would best meet particular children’s or teenager’s future needs, I was often met with shock or even anger…

“We can’t afford that, it’s not available” and then “please change your recommendation to fit in with our budget, resources”

I never changed my recommendation which were what I considered to be in the best interests of my patient, but I did explain why and suggest second best alternatives. This made them annoyed sometimes, and I had to point out that they were the Managers and I was the Expert from whom they were seeking advice.

I fulfilled my responsibility, and it was their job to manage – to make a final decision based on a balance of all the evidence and resources. That is the job of a Manager and a Politician, and a difficult one – what they are paid to do on behalf of Society.

Politicians must listen to Advisers, Experts and Scientists but not try to make them take responsibility for their political decisisions…

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