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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Compassion in Nursing

Theory, Evidence and Practice

ISBN 9781137443694
Publication Date July 2016
Formats Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

Is nursing in England experiencing a fundamental moral crisis? A number of recent high-profile reports about the state of nursing care in English hospitals certainly add weight to this argument; however, although the intense media attention on the decline of compassion in nursing has highlighted some of the issues, it has neither explained the underlying causes nor signalled a realistic solution.

In this timely and important book, a collection of expert authors with a wealth of academic and practice experience examine the multitude of areas that need to be understood, and issues that must be addressed, before the policy recommendations triggered by the latest furore can be realised. These include:

• Policy perspectives on compassion
• Analysis of the historical roots of the concept of compassion
• Examination of compassion in a contemporary nursing context, including patients' perspectives
• The organisation of services to deliver compassion
• Approaches to supporting staff to provide compassionate care.

Compassion in nursing has become an issue of national attention in England; however, there has been a tendency for sensationalised reports to win out over analysis. This book explores the issues involved in more detail and depth. It is an essential resource for nursing students, practising nurses and health service managers, and anyone else interested in creating a compassionate health service.

Dr Alistair Hewison is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Nursing at the University of Birmingham, UK. He has undertaken a number of roles including Head of the School of Health Sciences, Head of Nursing and Director of Postgraduate Studies. He has published widely on nursing, management and policy in scholarly journals and book chapters.
Yvonne Sawbridge is Senior Fellow at the Health Services Management Centre at the University of Birmingham, UK. She has enjoyed a wide and varied career across all aspects of the NHS. Before joining the University of Birmingham she was Director of Quality and Nursing in a large PCT involved responsibility for a range of portfolios. She has worked closely with practice based commissioners; local authority partners-particularly in the Children's Trust and Adult and Children's Safeguarding Boards and several providers both statutory and third sector, such as local Hospices. She has also presented at numerous conferences to both clinical and managerial audiences.

Introduction: The Context of Compassion
1. Compassion in Care-the Policy Response
2. Compassion as a Philosophical and Theological Concept
3. Compassion in Nursing: A Concept Analysis
4. What Compassion Means: the Person and Family Perspective
5. Healthcare Culture and Intelligent Kindness in Practice
6. The Components of Compassion
7. Improving Patients' Experience: The Point of Care Programme2007-2014
8. The Emotional Labour of Nursing
9. Managing for Compassion
10. Restorative Supervision-Implications for Nursing
11. Compassion, Emotional Labour, and Public Service in the United States
Conclusion: What Next for Compassion in Nursing?.


This is a very timely book, which provides a comprehensive and critical review of compassion in nursing from a wide range of perspectives. It will make a valuable contribution to the nursing field and should be essential reading for nursing programmes.' – Professor Lesley Baillie, Florence Nightingale Foundation Chair, London South Bank University, UK
'This book provides a refreshing gaze away from the individual nurse delivering compassionate care to the wider issues surrounding this complex topic.' Belinda Dewar, Professor of Practice Improvement, University of the West of Scotland, UK
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