Compassion in healthcare

Compassion in Healthcare: Practical Policy for Civic Life

This is the primary research focus which informs, and has led to, the other lines of enquiry in our research. It responds to an identified need to provide opportunities for humanities and social science researchers to explore values important to healthcare, especially compassion, in partnership with doctors, nurses and others involved in healthcare.
 
The Arts and Humanities Research Council has made a grant of £199,258 to Professor Joshua Hordern for this 18 month project (January 2017-June 2018). Dr Therese Feiler is the researcher on the project.
 
The project involves research and knowledge exchange with three healthcare organisations:

Further details about the project on the Research Councils UK website may be found here.

Project background

This project started as a Knowledge Exchange initiative with activities in September-December 2014, culminating in a major conference at the Royal Society of Medicine on December 3rd 2014. This initiative was generously funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund and The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).
 
The second phase has been made possible by funding from the Sir Halley Stewart Trust and the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund. It has involved a deepening of the exploration of compassion in relation to other subthemes. Partnership with Oxford University Hospitals Trust led to a series of pilot workshops with doctors, nurses, managers and other staff exploring themes such as time, narrative, responsibility, self-compassion and compassion for colleagues. This series of workshops took place in Autumn 2015.
 
Outcomes from these phases of project so far include:

  • engagement and knowledge exchange activities which influenced the understanding and practices of those who participated
  • a series of video-shorts about compassion by colleagues in healthcare, humanities and social sciences
  • short articles offering more in depth perspectives on compassion with further reading suggestions
  • partnership with the Royal Society of Medicine Open Section and the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
  • partnership with the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group
  • this website for healthcare values as a place for ongoing knowledge exchange, development of policy and institutional change.

Following the pilot workshops in Autumn 2015, the partnership with Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Trust was expanded to form a key element of the AHRC project. These events respond to an identified need to provide opportunities for humanities and social science researchers to explore values important to healthcare, especially compassion, in partnership with doctors, nurses and others involved in healthcare. This is now being taken forward with participating OUH clinical departments with a series of knowledge exchange workshops exploring 'compassionate excellence' in healthcare.