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The caring organisation: enabling compassion to flourish

16 December 2015

On 16 December 2015, more than 250 delegates attended The Point of Care Foundation’s annual conference entitled ‘the caring organisation: enabling compassion to flourish’, held jointly with the Open Section of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Professor Jill Maben opened the conference with a review of the evidence that demonstrates that staff engagement acts as the antecedent to good patient experience.  You can watch her presentation on the RSM website.

Lord Victor Adebowale followed with a talk that was as inspiring as it was engaging. He questioned the worth of organisational values, if they did not filter down into the practicalities of frontline work. He cited examples of visiting hospitals where lofty values are plastered over the walls but the behaviours of managers were in complete contrast to those values. He accepted that providing leadership in the NHS is a significant challenge, but encouraged the audience to embrace that challenge and use it to drive culture change within their organisations.

The Schwartz Round facilitators from South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust started the second session by describing some of the challenges they have encountered embedding Rounds. They offered practical advice on how to position Rounds in the context of an NHS organisation, particularly the relationship with senior managers and the executive sponsors of Rounds.

The morning session closed with an expert panel sharing their views on what both organisations and individuals can do in order to build more compassion into the way care is given.

After lunch delegates attended two interactive breakout sessions, focusing on a range of topics including social media; reflective practice; resilience; and the ethical and business case for compassionate care.

The final plenary saw Professor Penny Campling share her vision for building more compassion into healthcare through ‘intelligent kindness’. It was an inspiring way to close the conference; an energising call to action offering a brighter vision of how healthcare professionals can reconnect with their core values and improve the experience of care for patients.