Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Robots and social care

Focus on automating care may lead us astray

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 08 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l63
  1. Katie Featherstone, reader in sociology and medicine,
  2. Paula Boddington, senior research fellow
  1. School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  1. BoddingtonP1{at}

Oliver is concerned by Ara Darzi’s call for full automation of repetitive tasks in health and care services.1 Robotics may be a useful avenue to explore, but to present care as repetitive tasks ripe for automation may be problematic.

Our team’s research programme involves detailed observations of ward staff’s bedside care to people with dementia …

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