All the good care: Valuation and task differentiation in older person care

Jitse Schuurmans*, Hanna Stalenhoef, Roland Bal, Iris Wallenburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Task reallocation is increasingly foregrounded as a promising solution for capacity problems. Numerous studies show, however, that task reallocation between medical professionals is a highly contested issue and difficult to institutionalise. Conflicts are omnipresent and often arise from ‘intraprofessional competition’: Zero-sum games between professionals from different disciplinary backgrounds where one party’s gains require another party’s losses. In this article, we build on calls to enrich the sociology of professions with new concepts and theories. We analyse a case of task reallocation between medical professionals in a nursing home using concepts from empirical ethics and valuation studies. We argue that modes of good care offer a valuable framework for analysing the reorganisation of professional work because they provide an empirically grounded and fine-grained conceptual toolkit for understanding the dynamics among professionals and between professionals and managers. Enactment of different modes of good care inspires innovation in service provision but at the same time creates new tensions between those involved. We show how, in times of scarcity, a dynamic emerges between professionals attempting to stave off and reallocate work, thereby restricting their professional domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1560-1577
Number of pages18
JournalSociology of Health and Illness
Issue number7
Early online date11 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

We would like to thank all participants in this research project. In particular, we would like to thank the GPs, EPs, managers of the collaborating organisations in the new service provision, the project leader and external consultant. We also like to thank our colleagues of health‐care governance for the critical discussion of an earlier draft and Martijn Felder for his valuable comments. Additionally, we would like to thank the external reviewers of the manuscripts whose suggestions were very helpful. This research was supported by funds of the care offices of VGZ.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness.


Dive into the research topics of 'All the good care: Valuation and task differentiation in older person care'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this