Care, Compassion and Competence
A Programme of Improvement for Health and Social Care Professionals
About the Programme
Equality Academy have observed in their complex and varied work within the health sector that there are a set of seven principles, often poorly applied in organisational settings, which – if built into the life of the workplace – can transform individuals and groups, leading to better experience, better performance and better outcomes. They have honed these into a distinctive programme, which we tailor to each new team or organisation.
In this programme, specially developed for NHS and social care settings, Equality Academy team up with leading anthropologist, Dr Chris Morton, to bring their combined expertise to bear upon the challenge of creating healthy, productive, inclusive workplaces. Our aim is to foster an attitude of professionally delivered compassion, care and competence – which results in the best possible patient and staff experience and care outcomes at a time of limited resources.
The programme begins with listening: using all of our faculties – what we see, what we hear and what this evokes in us. Essentially, our team listens deeply to staff and patients through a combination of:
- Participant Observation
- Facilitated group discussion
- One-to-one interviews
From this initial research, we gain privileged insight into the daily experience of staff and patients, gain an impression of and provide the material be able to practically address it within the workshops/tutorials:
- Unwritten / unspoken rules
- Effective and ineffective forms of communication
- Patient experience and confidence in staff
- Patient experience and confidence in the fairness and quality of the overall system
- Staff experience and confidence in the fairness and qualities of leaders
- Staff experience of and confidence in reward, promotion, grievance & disciplinary, recruitment & selection and exit systems
- Strengths and gaps in listening and understanding
- Inclusion or exclusion related to diversity or other characteristics
- Hidden hierarchies
- Levels of empathy, compassion and connection with others
- Willingness to give and receive both appreciation and critical feedback
- Success in meeting basic human emotional needs of staff and patients
A Tailored Programme of Learning and Development
The purpose of the initial research is to ensure that each of the following principles is delivered in the learning programme in a form which accords with the existing culture of the organisation, and which helps it collectively move forward toward its next stage of improvement. This will be tailored for your team in the form of workshops, tutorials and individual or group coaching.
The seven principles are as follows:
- Awareness – Split Screen, inner and outer awareness, awareness of self and other: including an awareness of the set of universal human emotional needs (human givens) and the importance of having them met in everyone’s life; use of mindfulness techniques to heighten personal and interpersonal awareness
- Authentic Communication – both speaking and listening: speaking to the heart of the matter with confidence; listening for the heart of the matter with skill and sensitivity, particularly where other people have unmet needs, leading to communication which helps meet the need for emotional connection
- Leadership by Example – practising leadership behaviours which lead to both proactive encouragement of others and enable effective challenging / questioning / interrupting of poor practices; being a role model of aspiring to bring one’s own life in balance, so one’s own physical and emotional needs are met, as well as having a leadership style and approach that supports this in staff and clients. These behaviours are encouraged in all participants in a form appropriate to their role and function, not just for those in recognised ‘leadership positions’.
- Feedback and Feedforward – clear, specific, positive feedback is important for an individual to feel that their role is recognized, and for developing competence. Feedforward engages the present to improve the future – focusing on planning and designing for improvement. We help teams develop periodic collective practice of skilled feed-back and -forward: offering specific appreciation, critical feedback and suggestions for improvement or reinforcement in a professional way; learning how to accept, and learn from, receiving others’ feedback.
- Human Web – no person is an island: we are who we are because of, or through, others. This principle supports daily practices which remind people of their interconnectedness, their human qualities and their common purpose.
- Shared Intention – personal and shared positive intention toward the collectivity (organisation, group, team) used to be mainly the domain of worship. No longer: we now know that positive, compassionate intention toward self and other has benefits in both brain chemistry and behaviour. Today, without religion or particular belief, people can devise and benefit from simple inclusive practices that remind them of their common shared intention and the importance of thinking well of their colleagues and their patients.
- Integrity of Being – taking in the universal human need for security, control and privacy, this principle establishes dignity and autonomy – the right to be treated as an individual who has some control over one’s life and over what is kept private or shared. It also speaks to freedom from violence, mistreatment of the threat of them. In many ways it is a fundamental underpinning to the other seven principles, and an essential ingredient in professional and appropriate patient and customer care.
Many of our techniques have originated from diverse spiritual and cultural traditions. They are rooted in the common values which the NHS and social care sector is seeking to promote: values of compassion, care for those who are experiencing vulnerability, professional standards, equality, valuing of diversity, concern for the dignity of individuals and respect for those they are connected with.
Our tailored inputs will take into account:
- Time and staffing constraints
- Clinical imperatives and priorities
- Accountability structure
- Diversity dimensions
About the Tutors
Jonathan Heath and Razia Aziz: Directors of the Equality Academy, are highly experienced in facilitation, training and consultancy in the health and social care sector. For many years Razia and Jonathan have provided top quality learning & development inputs, audits and support to health and social care professionals at every level in organisations: clinical & operational; senior and junior grades; customer/patient-facing and support. They have a distinguished track record in both team facilitation / building and in equality, diversity & inclusion training.
Jonathan and Razia believe that the current crisis of confidence in the NHS and social care sector, triggered by the uncovering of seriously flawed practices in hospitals, care homes and in the community requires a new, highly integrated, approach: it cannot be tackled through traditional learning and development methods alone. Both Directors are teachers and practitioners of a range of developmental and self-awareness tools, from individual and group mindfulness practices to bodywork, yoga and positive / guided visualisation. Jonathan is a qualified yoga teacher and Razia is an independent minister and spiritual counsellor offering support to people any faith & belief or none.
Workshop and tutorial input will be led by Jonathan and Razia. The two additional expert consultants on the team are: Dr. Chris Morton: Who will conduct the ethnographic research; he is a lecturer in anthropology at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, and a curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and an Adjunct Fellow of Linacre College, Oxford. Mary Evans: after decades of distinguished service in the public sector, with a focus on communities, diversity and equality, Mary has qualified as a Human Givens therapist and offers individual and group work supporting a wide range of people seeking greater wellbeing and self-realisation.
Find out more: In order to discuss the needs of your team or organisation,
please contact Jonathan or Razia at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01672 512624.
We look forward to hearing from you.