A compassionate New Years resolution?

Lucy Maddox: There is no compassion left in the NHS. Or so many reports would have us believe

The QC who conducted the Francis report, the investigation into the inadequate care, identified a lack of compassion as being amongst the major causes of negligence. Since then, ‘compassionate care’ has become a new healthcare buzz-phrase, with drives to improve it in NHS trusts nationwide. Somewhat ironically, lack of compassion has also become the new stick to beat the already much-beaten NHS with.


Compassion is described in Buddhist tradition as a wish for all beings to be free of suffering and the causes of suffering. It is also defined as a capacity to meet pain with “kindness, empathy, equanimity and patience”, both in ourselves and in others.


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Lucy Maddox