League tables are just one example of the growing importance of "institutional success" in the health service. What are the implications of attaching importance to institutional success, and what impact might this have on professional ethics? This paper considers these issues and argues that public policy processes which centre on institutional performance, and which co-opt professional loyalties to this end, shift the balance between person-centred and impersonal standpoints in health care (from the former and towards the latter). There is no attempt to make a global ethical appraisal of this putative shift but rather to raise a matter of concern for those committed to a person-centred conception of professional ethics.
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