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Compassionate Leadership

We are living through unprecedented times. We have perhaps never faced as uncertain a future in health and care as we do now. We are experiencing the effects of globalisation, population change, defence and security challenges and social and political upheaval. These issues are in turn are driving changes in the health and care needs of our population, their demands on health and care services, people’s trust and confidence in the NHS and social care, and the entrenched and systemic injustice experienced by people, communities and our staff.

Wherever we are in our health and care system, we are at least united in our ultimate goals:

  • that every person receives the standard of compassionate, person centred, safe and effective care that they should;
  • that as health and care staff work we work in an inclusive environment where we can all feel safe and that we belong;
  • that we are all able to feel genuine pride in being part of a health and care system that works well and achieves the best for people.

Facing these challenges requires a style of leadership in health and care that balances the need to foster belonging, collaboration, inclusivity, compassion and civility alongside the need to deliver performance, targets, processes, priorities, plans and tasks.

Compassionate leadership describes a caring, selfless approach where people show curiosity and empathy. Compassionate leaders create an inclusive and psychologically safe working environment, and develop trusting and mutually supportive relationships that enable their team members to be effective and to fulfil their potential.

When they experience compassionate leadership, colleagues feel valued, confident and connected to each other; their teams are more collaborative, effective and mutually supportive; organisations are more productive; and systems share resources and innovate together. As a result, people who use services experience better care and have better health outcomes.

We want Suffolk and North East Essex to be a compassionate system, with leaders who create the right environment for their workforce to thrive and local people to receive high quality health and care services.

On 13 September 2024 at our annual EXPO event we will be holding a ‘Compassionate Leadership Masterclass’ for 50 ‘compassionate leaders of the future’ who have been specially nominated from across our system. This will be an opportunity for developing future leaders to engage directly with some exceptional people on the issue of leadership through complexity. Participants will represent their organisation as partners in the Suffolk and North East Essex ICS and should demonstrate the values of compassionate leaders. We will capture feedback from the masterclass and share it widely as part of our aims to develop compassionate leadership across Suffolk and North East Essex.

Last Updated on 15 July 2024

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