Thursday, 9 May 2013


But must feel safe to do so

I quote (almost) –
'Conductive Education has not gone bad.' This is most certainly right. One hears stories of conductors delivering extraordinary conduction on a daily basis – sometimes in the most difficult of circumstances.
Story after story of excellent conduction, families overwhelmed at the good service that they receive from conductors.
Conductors often put their clients before their own families and themselves by going in on days-off and working unpaid overtime, and it is clear there are plenty of conductors who provide compassionate conduction that is exemplary.
But this is not consistent across all contexts in which conductors work. So why is this?
It could be there are pockets of bad practice that are not challenged, in centres under pressure to meet tough financial or performance targets. It could be poor leadership. In many cases it is all three.
Conductors need to get comfortable with being challenged, and challenging themselves and others. In a better world you should always be able to ask 'Why?' when someone tells you not to do something, or to do something.
How receptive are conductors to being asked why? And are they just too busy and too over-stretched even to think about whether they are doing things the best way? Conductors need to find a way of creating a culture of expressing opinions, that does not create disharmony but fosters good practice and service-improvement.
All 'leaders' – not just some – need to get better at this open style of managing, and conductors' employers need to think about always listening to their staff when they challenge and raise concerns.
Change must come from everyone – the leaders and their teams. Everyone has a duty to speak out – but must feel safe to do so.
The above passage has been adapted and abridged from Jenni Middleton's Editorial in the current issue of Nursing Times. The word 'conductors' has been substituted for 'nurses' throughout and references to the National Health Service removed. Otherwise the item stands much as written.

(The readers' comments published below this article might also ring a bell – not least because all three are anonymous!)


Conductive World has more than once mentioned parallels between professional situations of nurses and of conductors.

Nursing Times is currently running a 'Speak Out Safely' campaign, aiming for everyone in nursing to feel comfortable challenging practice and raising concerns, and promises to continue it until this goal is achieved.
Are conductors and their employers ready yet and up to a campaign of this kind. Or is even suggestion of such an exercise misjudged and unnecessary?


Middleton, J. (2013) 'Nursing needs to get comfortable with being challenged and challenging itself', Nursing Times, 9 May
Sutton, A. (2013) Openness in the conductive workplace: conductors, their colleagues and employers too, Conductive World, 27 February

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