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Government outlines plans to assess nursing compassion

19th June 2008

The Department of Health has outlined plans to assess compassion of care in nursing as part of a transformation in the measure of quality of nursing care provided on the NHS.

In a speech given to the NHS Confederation in Manchester yesterday, health secretary Alan Johnson set out plans for the development of metrics to assess how compassionately care has been delivered, in addition to the safety and effectiveness of nursing care.

The government reports that these metrics will evolve over time, but will include factors such as safety, patient experience, clinical and patient-reported outcomes and will encompass all staff groups and factors that affect patient care.

Mr Johnson said: “It is a wonderful reflection of the nursing profession that they want to do everything possible to improve the already high standards of care in the NHS.

“Measuring quality against indicators such as dignity, respect and communication will help them achieve this.”

He added that patients want to be kept informed by staff and be treated with sensitivity and compassion.

In April 2008, a survey from the Royal College of Nursing revealed that its members want dignity to be central to the profession, with some expressing concerns that they have been unable to ensure their patients have been treated appropriately.

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