Lively Debate on Compassionate Nursing Expected at University of Worcester Conference

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Two of the most accomplished writers in healthcare will take part in what promises to be a lively debate about compassionate nursing later this month.

John Paley and Professor Gary Rolfe will each present and discuss their views at the University of Worcesterís Ensuring Compassion in Nursing Conference on January 26th.

The conference will explore whether the episodes of poor care described at Mid-Staffs and elsewhere are as a result of a deficit of compassion in nursing, or the result of stressed nurses working in an unforgiving environment.

In a recent exchange of articles in the academic press, John Paley, Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Health and Social Care Research at Sheffield Hallam University, and Professor Gary Rolfe, of the College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University, have taken different views. Drawing on evidence from social psychology, Mr Paley argues that poor care can be largely explained by the situation that nurses find themselves in. In response, Professor Rolfe claims that there is indeed a deficit in compassion which is best addressed through enhanced education.

The conference will also hear from Dr Derek Sellman, Director of the unit for Philosophical Nursing Research at the University of Alberta.

Following the academic debate the challenges of providing compassionate care in a very busy and stressful environment will be discussed from the perspective of research, practice and nurse education. Yvonne Sawbridge from the University of Birmingham will join Worcestershire Acute NHS Trustís Director of Nursing, Lindsey Web to discuss the challenges in practice.

In advance of important reviews due to be published this spring, Dr Jan Quallington, Head of the University of Worcesterís Institute of Health and Society, will discuss how the need for compassionate nurses is addressed in pre-registration nursing education.

The day will be of interest to all interested in health care, nursing and nursing education. Members of the public are especially welcome.

This event is free of charge. Space is limited but some places are still available. To book a place please email: