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Compassion and patient safety

Compassion was identified as one of the priority areas for the skills development strategy prior to the publication of the Francis Report on the care failings in Mid Staffordshire. As a result of the report, which demonstrated a strong link between compassion and patient safety, the HEKSS compassion work stream was broadened to encompass both.


We aim to support and enhance the work underway across the NHS to ensure that all patients experience care that meets the highest standards of safety and compassion.

We are achieving this by:

  • promoting and sustaining the values enshrined in the NHS constitution
  • developing the competence of the workforce in quality improvement techniques
  • educating the workforce in the practical application of compassion and dignity
  • ensuring directors and senior staff in healthcare providers and education commissioners are continually developed to rigorously review and challenge practice in relation to compassion and safety
  • leadership and governance development.

For more information, please contact programme manager Eileen Sanderson

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