Intelligent Kindness is a powerful new approach to healthcare reform. Ballatt and Campling argue that the NHS is a system that invites society to value and attend to its deepest common interests; it is a vital expression of community and one that can improve if society, patients and staff can reconnect to these deeper values. To do so will improve quality and patient experience, as well as morale, effectiveness, efficiency and value for money.
Relentless regulatory and structural NHS ‘reforms’ have failed to avert scandals and left many health service staff feeling alienated. Industrial and market approaches to reform, whatever their merits, urgently need to be balanced by an applied understanding of what motivates and assures compassionate practice. The authors examine this topic from a wide variety of perspectives, including psychoanalytic thinking, group relations, neuropsychology, social psychology and ethology.
This book calls on policymakers, managers, educators and clinical staff to apply and nurture intelligent kindness in the organisation and delivery of care, and offers advice as to what this approach means in practice.
Readership: This book will be essential reading for health service managers, clinical leads, politicians, policy-makers and health journalists.
“A passionate and clear articulation of the issues of kindness within professional caring systems. The message is clear, well argued for and makes a case with conviction beyond rhetoric.”
- Dr Gwen Adshead - Consultant Forensic Psychotherapist, Broadmoor Hospital, Berks.
“To be kind is to be in harmony with human need, requiring empathy and a sense of equality. Kindness, camaraderie and mutuality are essential for our physical and emotional well-being, and never more so than when we are ill, or when we are caring for those who are ill. Ballatt and Campling show how kindness can work to heal individuals, organizations and society.”
- Kate Pickett - Professor of Epidemiology, University of York
“Like any quality, compassion thrives under certain conditions and withers under others. The authors skillfully illuminate the processes that have tipped us just too far into the withering direction. A wise and compelling insight into the crisis in compassionate care within the health service, and what can and should be done about it.”
- Professor Paul Gilbert - Head of Mental Health Research Unit, University of Derby and Founder of the Compassionate Mind Foundation.
“This is a generous book…it explains important ideas in an open and understandable language, it explores theories that are actually useful in thinking about how we care for others, and it offers some comfort therefore for those who work at a difficult time for public services and those (all of us in the end) who need these services.”
- Tim Dartington - Writer and Social Scientist
Part 1: Healthy kindness
1. Rescuing kindness
2. A politics of kindness
3. Building the case for kindness
Part 2: The struggle with kindness
4. Managing feelings of love and hate
5. The emotional life of teams
6. Cooperation and fragmentation
7. On the edges of kinship
8. The end of life
Part 3: The organisation of kindness
9. Unsettling times
10. The pull towards perversion
11. Free to serve the public
12. Intelligent kindness
About the authors:
John Ballatt - Independent consultant advising on health and social care and organisational systems, Leicester.
Penelope Campling - Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist at Francis Dixon Lodge (a therapeutic community), Leicester.