King’s Fund report – Caring to Change: how compassionate leadership can stimulate innovation in health care

A Policy Briefing aimed at healthcare professionals is available for LKS staff to share in their own organisations. This has been produced and shared by the JET Library, Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Please feel free to reproduce it (with acknowledgement to JET Library) for your own purposes.

Impact on library policy/practice:

  • Knowledge Management opportunities
  • Promote research and innovation opportunities to support the culture of learning and providing evidence based research in the relevant areas
  • Working with managers, commissioners, transformation teams to support the organisation and staff whilst undergoing this change
  • Current awareness / linking into other organisations and disseminating that information- condensing the amount of information available/ do once and share
  • Cross boundary work/promotion with public libraries to engage staff with health and wellbeing
  • Listening in action/coaching – opportunities for LKS to branch out into other areas of the organisation and showcase transferable skills

Source:  The King’s Fund

Link to main web site

Link to report

Publication format:  Web site and pdf

Date of publication: 4th May 2017

Summary of driver: This paper looks at compassion – which involves attending, understanding, empathising and helping – as a core cultural value of the NHS and how compassionate leadership results in a working environment that encourages people to find new and improved ways of doing things. It also describes four key elements of a culture for innovative, high-quality and continually improving care and what they mean for patients, staff and the wider organisation:

Key features of driver:

  • More money on its own is not enough to transform the NHS – transformative changes are needed
  • BUT examples of radical and sustained innovation are exceptions
  • The best examples have triumphed over adversity by:
    • Re-designing whole systems
    • Radically rethinking organisational roles
    • Giving teams the power to be innovative
    • Persistently nurturing continuous improvement
  • Leadership – and a culture – that makes change possible are essential to spread innovation and make it a cultural norm in the NHS
  • Compassionate leadership makes a culture of improvement and radical innovation possible
  • Compassionate leadership motivates NHS staff and reinforces their fundamental altruism
  • Compassionate leadership promotes learning and encourages people to take risks
  • Compassionate leadership helps people feel safe to raise concerns and develop new ideas
  • Compassion is the core cultural value of the NHS
  • There are four elements to a culture conductive to innovative and high-quality care
    • An inspiring vision and strategy
    • Deliberate attempts to include people and get them to participate
    • Enthusiastic team and cross-boundary working
    • Support and autonomy for staff to innovate
  • Most leadership development occurs by experience – it’s vital leaders are good role models
  • All staff should get timely feedback to make sure that they are behaving compassionately, consistently
  • People should be allowed to respond autonomously to challenges by innovating
  • Shared leadership results in significantly higher levels of innovation and better team performance
  • Leadership has to be consistent with all leaders being authentic, open, transparent, curious, appreciative and compassionate
  • NHS organisations do not generally have quality improvement and radical innovation as parts of their strategies but this might change as the National Improvement and Leadership Development Board takes effect promoting compassionate and inclusive leadership

Primary audience: All NHS staff

Date last updated: 4th May 2017

Due for review:  4th May 2019

Group member responsible: LK

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