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Compassionate leadership: what is it and why do organisations need more of it? Roffey Park research paper. 2016. (accessed 14 March 2023)

West M, Sinsky C. Compassionate leadership: the shortcut to good outcomes for clinicians and patients alike (talk).: NEJM Catalyst; 2022

Five myths of compassionate leadership. 2019. (accessed 14 March 2023)

How to become a compassionate leader

23 March 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 6


Sam Foster, Chief Nurse, Oxford University Hospitals, discusses a set of attributes that will enable managers to create workplace environments within which colleagues are empathetic and supportive of one another

While numerous critical pay negotiations continue between the Government and trade unions, several colleagues have reinforced to me the message that the ‘conditions’ element of ‘pay and conditions’ is a significant driver in how likely we are to remain in our roles, how enabled we are to deliver our roles and how this benefits others.

Kelly et al (2022) reported that, according to the NHS Staff Survey, a range of issues were associated with the probability of staff leaving their jobs, and this varied for different staff groups. In the case of nurses, Kelly concluded that, where there was higher reported staff engagement, there was a lower probability of leaving.

There is much written about the need for compassionate leadership in the NHS and there is a strong evidence base underpinning the benefits of compassionate leadership, summarised by West and Sinsky (2022) as:

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