#NHS70 The NHS: A Compassionate Culture

March 26, 2018, 3:17 p.m.

With over 1.5 million people either working or volunteering for the NHS, we decided to take a closer look at what makes NHS staff and volunteers stand out from everyone else…

The NHS’s culture has a big focus on equality - treating people from all backgrounds in life. But it’s also so important to recognise that this wouldn’t be possible without the individuals that make up the wonderful NHS staff. Every single one of them shares a common value - compassion.

The NHS has a Culture of Care Barometer - a tool to help the different NHS organisations identify how they approach care and where they can improve. Nurses, midwives and care staff in particular hold extremely strong values...namely the 6 C’s!

  • Care
  • Compassion
  • Competence
  • Communication
  • Courage
  • Commitment

This got us thinking about how incredibly passionate and proud NHS staff are about their jobs and how they translate the 6 C’s into their personal lives. These are the type of people who approach people in crisis, whether in the hospital or on the street, and help them in situations where some people would turn a blind eye.

Compassion and acts of kindness doesn’t stop at the nurses and carers - NHS cleaners are just as committed to providing a caring service. For example, Mark Doughty from the NHS Leadership Academy, tells the story of when his dad was in hospital. A cleaner called Lisa, entered his room made the effort to chat to his dad and made sure he was comfortable while going about her daily cleaning duties! He died shortly after the cleaner’s visit, but Mark writes “we knew he had died being genuinely loved and cared for by everyone around him.”

The wonderful cleaner is a shining example of patient-led care in the NHS - where patients are seen as people and not just numbers on a chart. The culture of kindness and compassion among all NHS staff can be seen throughout the entire system - from midwives to end-of-life care.

Sacrificing their personal lives

On top of this, NHS staff regularly have to make sacrifices in their personal lives so they can stick to these amazing values. Sometimes they may have to celebrate Christmas with their families on a day that isn’t the 25th December...sometimes they might go the whole 12 hour shift without sitting down or even having a drink. They also have to deal with all manner of situations including prisoners trying to escape police custody, patients being arrested and confused elderly patients running through car parks. Yet the staff never stop - that’s how dedicated they are.

Even with the strains on NHS resources, staff pay cuts and ward closures they have had to go above and beyond to ensure their patients have the best care. It’s the love of the job and making people better and knowing they helped, knowing they made a difference.

We could all take a leaf out of the NHS staff’s book when it comes to helping people So the next time you see someone struggling with their suitcase on an escalator or someone who can’t afford their bus fare - help them out. We can all make the world a better place through simple acts of kindness.

So to say thank you to all the inspirational work all NHS employees put in on a daily basis, we launched a prize draw giving NHS staff a chance to win a long weekend in a French Manoir.

If you or someone you know works or volunteers for the NHS then please enter using the button below!

This competition is now closed! Read all about our wonderful winner!

Keep your eyes peeled for more prize draws this year on our Facebook and Twitter pages!