NHS Recommendations: Compassion in Practice – Medical Ethics Example

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"NHS Recommendations: Compassion in Practice" is a perfect example of a paper on medical ethics. Compassion in practice ensures high-quality care of patients by reflecting on values and actions. Care, Compassion, Competence, Communication, Courage, and Commitment are values that are integral in the effective assessment of the patient. The NHS provides recommendations for compassionate practice that are important in the development of a specialist practitioner. This enhances outcomes of treatment due to the development of reasoning skills and effective communication skills with clients and other health practitioners that are important inpatient care  (Clarke, 2014).

The compassionate practice is required from all health care professionals including nurses, physicians, and specialist practitioners. This paper highlights key recommendations from the NHS that are in relation to the development of a specialist practitioner. The NHS recommends helping people to be independent, maximizing their well-being, and improving their health outcomes. Practitioners are required to help patients effectively manage their health and well-being and to teach them self-management skills for long term conditions  (Ahn, et al. , 2013). In ascertaining personalized care, specialist practitioners should focus on health promotion and management.

Education on self-management supports patients with chronic conditions to live the best quality of life, therefore, improving the outcomes of patients such as adherence, knowledge of the illness, and self-management. In addition, health promotion helps patients change their behavior positively with respect to their health. The practitioner must have knowledge and experience of health promotion in practice (Kemppainen, et al. , 2012). Cooperation with patients and their families to provide a conducive experience is essential in the development of a specialist practitioner; it is a key component in compassion in practice. This enables the identification of people that are vulnerable, their responses aid improvement of the patients’ experience and care.

This can be achieved through effective communication and interaction which results in patient-centered care (Epstein & Street, 2011). Interactions that are patient-centered enable patients to be provided with emotional support. In addition, patients are involved in the consultation process thus improving the outcome of the patient treatment  (Pinto, et al. , 2012). In this regard, through communication, the needs of the individual clients are identified and appropriate support is ensured. Effective communication should be mastered by practitioners to enhance their development in compassionate care which in turn improves efficiency and quality of care.

It is important that both the patient and clinician co-ordinate and co-operate, this will enhance their communication allowing effective compassionate care. Ensuring compassionate care entails exploring the perceptions the patients and their families have about care and identify key aspects used to evaluate quality care based on the description of actual experiences  (Attree, 2008). For instance, patients who receive compassionate care are more likely to share and talk about their symptoms and concerns, which is likely to produce more accurate understanding and diagnoses.

Moreover, compassionate care reduces patient anxiety; it has a positive impact on the patient’ s recovery and the ability to heal. Building and strengthening leadership is a vital recommendation in compassion in Practice. Identification of culture, environment, and conditions required for reflective compassionate leadership is paramount in the development of a specialist practitioner. This entails developing skills to challenge poor practice and strengthening leadership among minority professional communities. In the delivery of contemporary health care, cultural competence is a primary concern in providing care.

However, there are challenges such as attempts to associate health with disparities, making culture to race ethnicity essential, and the abstract nature of the concept. This has a negative impact on the development of a specialist practitioner and impedes the delivery of compassionate care. Cultural proficiency, cultural pre-competence, and cultural blindness are levels of cultural competency that are all linked to well-established values for compassionate leadership  (Graber, 2008). Delivery of high-quality care and measuring of impact is recommended by the NHS for compassion in practice. In this regard, openness and use of measuring impact are used to improve the quality of care experienced by patients and their families.

Co-ordination between skilled and committed practitioners, in addition to high levels of communication, has a role delivery of quality healthcare. A reliable process of care in conjunction with effective teamwork improves patient care. Practical concepts such as structured communication, effective leadership, situational awareness, critical language, and psychological safety are meant to develop a practitioner in ensuring compassion in practice (Leonard & Frankel, 2011). In development as a specialist practitioner, the right staff with the right skills in the right place should be ensured so as to provide compassionate care.

The working hours, job content, and colleagues are related to job satisfaction therefore, job satisfaction is directly linked to the relationship of specialist practitioners and patients. The high prevalence of burnouts can be caused by inadequate staffing and wrong allocation skills which are further related to poorer quality of care (Beckman, et al. , 2012). Effective communication within a multidisciplinary team is an important aspect of a positive environment for compassion in practice, which in turn enhances nursing outcomes. Moreover, there need to be positive staff experiences by recognizing success and best practice in the delivery of compassionate care.

According to Laschinger & Grau (2012), incorporating behavior such as a threat to professional status and personal standing, failure to give credit when due, overwork, destabilization, and isolation are negative behaviors that could lead to negative patient outcomes. Support at work protects people from a negative work environment which ultimately leads to the development of compassion in practice. Barriers to the development of compassion in practice, that are related to the individual, the social context, organizational and environmental context should be dealt with as soon as possible.

  Compassion in practice is acknowledged by patients. Patients and their families retain good memories regarding their general experience of care in hospitals in regard to the presence of compassion. Patient satisfaction due to compassionate care results in a positive outcome. In summary, compassion in practice affects the effectiveness of treatment. Compassion should entail good basic care, effective communication, empathy, respect, and recognition of other individuals' uniqueness (National Health Service, 2015).


Ahn, S. et al., 2013. The impact of chronic disease self-management programs: healthcare savings through a community-based intervention. BMC Public Health, 13(1141).

Attree, M., 2008. Patients' and relatives' experiences and perspectives of 'Good' and 'Not so Good' quality care. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 33(4), pp. 456-466.

Beckman, H. et al., 2012. The Impact of Program in Mindful Communication on Primary Care Physicians. Academic Medicine, 87(6), pp. 815-819.

Clarke, C., 2014. Promoting the 6Cs of nursing inpatient assessment. Nursing standard, 28(44), pp. 52-59.

Epstein, R. & Street, R., 2011. The Values and Value of patient-centered Care. Annals of Family Medicine, 9(2), pp. 100-103.

Graber, D. R., 2008. Establishing Values-Based Leadership and Value Systems in the Healthcare Organizations. Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, 31(4).

Kemppainen, V., Tossavainen, K. & Turunen, H., 2012. Nurses' roles in health promotion practice: an integrative review. Health Promotion International.

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Leonard, M. W. & Frankel, A. S., 2011. Role of effective teamwork and communication in delivering safe, high-quality care. Mt Sinai Journal of Medicine, 78(6), pp. 820-826.

National Health Service, 2015. Compassion in Practice: Two years on, s.l.: NHS.

Pinto, R. Z. et al., 2012. Patient-centered communication is associated with a positive therapeutic alliance: a systematic review. Journal of Physiotherapy, 58(2), pp. 77-87.

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