Compassion Fatigue: Changing Culture in the NHS (Call for Workshops and Posters, Conference 26-28 June, Birmingham)

Compassion Fatigue: Changing Culture in the NHS
Thinking about Health Annual Conference
26 – 28 June 2013,  Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, Birmgingham

In the light of the crisis in the Mid-Staffordshire Trust, the Francis Report and the Secretary of State for Health’s initial response, the language of compassion is becoming increasingly important as a focus for debates over the moral and vocational nature of health care.

The conference is designed explicitly to offer a space for reflection and discussion.  It provides shared opportunities for discussion alongside plenary addresses, workshops, panels, and all in a residential setting chosen to be conducive to thought and debate.

Questions to be addressed may include the following:

  • Is the appeal to compassion a recovery of health care’s moral compass, or a symptom of the undermining of the moral foundations of health care provision?
  • What assumptions does the advocacy of compassion make about the moral character and integrity of medical professionals?
  • Is there a disruptive tension between a culture of compassion on the one hand, and a culture of managerialism, with its emphasis on increasingly arduous inspection regimes, on the other?
  • Can the language of compassion capture the moral problems confronted by the NHS, or might it obfuscate and distract us from more subtle and demanding issues?
  • Is there an inevitable tension between personal and vocational nature of compassionate care and the need for universally applicable standards of efficient and effective care?

‘Compassion Fatigue’ will explore the general fate of moral concepts within health care, not least by exploring the danger that, after an initial burst of enthusiasm and genuinely critical and reflective thinking, they become operationalised into the managerial routines of everyday practice that they were originally designed to temper and remedy.

If you are interested in submitting a poster, organising a workshop, or simply in attending the conference, can you please send an expression of interest to Dr Andrew Edgar by 16th April.  For more information download the Think About Health-Flyer

About Centre for Medical Humanities

Centre for Medical Humanities
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