Centre for Resilience


Compassion and Resilience in the NHS lecture series

8 September 2014

University of Westminster flag

In July the Westminster Centre for Resilience held a very successful launch lecture series: 'Compassion and Resilience in the NHS'.

We were delighted to be joined by some of the most influential thought leaders in healthcare.

Watch the films of the lectures below.

Science, Compassion and a Resilient NHS – 17 July

Dr Chris Irons NHS clinical psychologist and trustee of the Compassionate Mind Foundation
Professor Jill Maben Director of the National Nursing Research Unit
Chaired by Dame Professor Donna Kinnair, Director of Governance at Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

NHS England's new Chief Executive Simon Stevens said recently that too many patients were being robbed of 'dignity and compassion' because of a lack of local care. Should we infer that large organisations and industrialised healthcare inevitably dehumanising? Are we hard-wired to be compassionate only in small groups? Does empathy breakdown under stress? Can we create more human-scale teams and hospitals? Neuroscience, psychology, research and practice come together tonight to thrash out some crucial issues.

Professional Standards, Resilience and Compassion – 24 July

Jocelyn Cornwell: Programme Director of the
 Point of Care Foundation

Harry Cayton: Chief Executive, Professional Standards Authority
Chaired by Dame Professor Donna Kinnair, Director of Governance at Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

There's a lot of talk (and policy) about making 
the NHS more compassionate. But can
 offering carrots or using sticks make people 
act compassionately?
 The Professional Standards Authority has
 made great strides with its right touch
 approach to regulation, but faced with poor
 practice regulators need sanctions as well as
And clearly it isn't simply a matter of requiring
 people to exercise their innate compassion:
 good practice is all too vulnerable to poor 
management, production-line culture, target
 fatigue and over-work. Two leaders 
in the field address some key NHS
 concerns: patient centeredness, practitioner
 wellbeing and the need to change the
 conversation about compassion in healthcare.

Reforming the Culture of Healthcare – 30 July

Dr Penny Campling psychiatrist, psychotherapist and Author of Intelligent Kindness
Dr Iona Heath: essayist and former President of the RCGP
Chaired by Dame Professor Donna Kinnair, Director of Governance at Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Iona Heath has pointed out that kindness helps patients heal, and that healthcare professionals need to be treated with kindness too; and yet - as recent events reveal – that the sustaining web of kindness can unravel all too quickly. How are we to hold on to our shared humanity in a target-driven culture? How are healthcare organisations to maintain values and leadership that ensure compassion? Two frontline thinkers and practitioners state the problems as they see them and propose some radical solutions.

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