Introduction Recently, numerous incidents relating to the neglect of patients have forced care providers to adopt a person centred approach with a focus on the individual; a long-established ethos in hospice and palliative care.
Following the Francis Report on the Mid Staffordshire Trust, the National Health Service (NHS) is committed to building a culture ofsafe, compassionate care. In 2014, a group ofnine hospices in South East England was commissioned by Health Education Kent Surrey Sussex (HEKSS) to develop and deliver compassion awareness education sessions to health and social care workers at all levels.
Aim To raise and embed awareness of the need for compassion in all care settings, at all levels.
Method A three hour education session on compassion awareness included interactive workshops exploring the need for compassion, reasons for compassion fatigue and ways to manage it. To sustain the learning and encourage changes in practice, participants were asked to complete an action plan detailing two or three strategies from those discussed in the session to use in their practice.
Moon (2004) suggests that reflection on formal education can more deeply embed learning in the clinical setting. One month after the education session, participants were sent a link to an electronic survey which asked them how they had used their action plan in their work.
Results Approximately 10% of participants responded to the survey; the majority reported that they had successfully used strategies from their action plans to change their practice. Many suggested they would continue to use those strategies. Examples included running sessions on compassion for colleagues, one response stated staff levels and shifts had been changed so that carers have more time with residents and more others focussed on self-awareness and self-care. The project has been commissioned to run for a second year.