Waiting times: waiting and care in the time of modernity


  • Dr Lisa Baraitser

    Birkbeck, University of London

Project summary

This project investigates waiting times in relation to mental health, clinical contact time and care. It will bring together perspectives from medical humanities, medical history, psychosocial studies, literary studies and new studies of temporality, to think critically about waiting times in mental healthcare provision, the time-space of the GP encounter and practices of care for very elderly people.

Using an emerging body of scholarship that reformulates the speed and mobility commonly associate with modernity and emphasises slowness and stilled, impeded or suspended time, the project investigates contemporary experiences of waiting in clinical and care settings in what are felt to be increasingly frenetic times. It will provide a scoping study to be completed on the history of managing waiting in the NHS, from 1948 to the present day.