Temporalities of Clinical Practice Workshop, 12 June 2019

Temporalities of Clinical Practice
University of Exeter

On June 12th 2019, the Waiting Times team (Birkbeck and the University of Exeter) ran a day workshop discussing the feelings/affects brought up by waiting and how experiences of delayed or impeded time might be held or contained in healthcare settings. Clinicians and carers shared the difficulties of waiting, exploring how and whether waiting can be a practice of care.

Attendees included: GPs, psychotherapists, policy makers, social workers, junior doctors, care providers, medical students, psychoanalysts.

Waiting is one of healthcare’s core experiences. It is there in the time it takes to access services; through the days, weeks, months or years needed for diagnoses; in the time that treatment takes; and in the elongated time-frames of recovery, relapse, remission and dying. It is well known that waiting is difficult, both for clinicians, carers, and patients or service users. But the question is often considered more in relation to health economics and ideas of efficiency and management than starting from the experience of what it means to wait, or to ask someone to wait.

The day ran 10-4.30 and included a morning session of provocations from speakers and questions, followed by an afternoon workshop for participants to discuss particular clinical difficulties and possibilities within waiting.


Venue: The Wellcome Centre for the Cultures and Environments of Health, University of Exeter

Speakers for our morning session included:

Bernadette Wren (Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Gender Identity Development Service, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust)

Maggie Draper (Assistant Director of Supportive Care and Quality, Hospiscare)

Michael J Flexer (Waiting Times Team Member, University of Exeter)

Kelechi Anucha (Waiting Times Team Member, University of Exeter)

Jens Foell (GP and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, Imperial College)

Paul Dieppe (Retired Consultant Rheumatologist and Professor of Health and Wellbeing, University of Exeter)

Felicity Thomas (Co-Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Culture and Health, University of Exeter)

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