Professor’s lecture asks… Who cares?

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Professor Maggie Pearson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Public Benefit and Dean of the College of Health & Social Care, has delivered the prestigious Percival Lecture at MediaCityUK.

The Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, the second oldest such society in the UK, invited Professor Pearson  to speak at the annual event, which rotates around Greater Manchester universities, on Wednesday, 29 January.

In her inaugural lecture as Pro-Vice-Chancellor Public Benefit, and Dean, Professor Pearson explored concepts of care, recent policy developments and shifts in the nature and location  of health and social care provision, highlighting the increased reliance on the independent sector and self-funded care, particularly for frail older people.

She drew out the implications for future models and philosophies of care, arguing that the positive abilities and capacities of individuals and communities need to be emphasised, rather than their deficits, and that this positive approach, which prioritises independence and partnership with professionals, should underpin the education and development of the health and social care workforce.

With reference to the Francis Enquiry into the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, which identified serious systemic and fatal failures in the care of some of our most vulnerable citizens, Professor Pearson discussed the question of how care should be provided, by whom and guided by which principles.

Professor Pearson’s long research career has focused on inequalities in health and the impact of health policy on people’s daily lives, including in respect of race and ethnicity.

The Percival Lectures began in 1945 and are supported by the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society in memory of Dr Thomas Percival, one of the founders of the Society.

Professor Pearson said: “It was a great honour to be invited to deliver the prestigious Percival Lecture to this august learned society.

“The current state of care in the UK is a matter of great public interest, and needs to be publicly debated, drawing on firm evidence.  I was delighted to be able to do this in the Percival Lecture.”