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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

New toolkit aims to "cultivate compassion"

BSMS > About BSMS > News > 2015 > New toolkit aims to "cultivate compassion"

New toolkit aims to "cultivate compassion"

A new online toolkit has been designed with the aim to help sustain morale and compassion within the NHS.

BSMS has been involved in an 18-month collaborative project called Cultivating Compassion, which has seen the development of an online toolkit for use by health and social care practitioners.

Led by the University of Brighton, the University of Surrey and BSMS, and sponsored by Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex, the toolkit aims to "cultivate compassion" in practice. It provides resources to support practitioners' ability to respond in everyday care situations in ways that help to make patients, families and colleagues feel cared for and respected.

The project findings were presented at a conference on 6 May, in which Year 3 BSMS students Victoria Cathie and Katie Whan were invited to give a presentation. Inspired by a Cultivating Compassion workshop at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust (BSUH), the students discussed how they used the toolkit and recorded acts of kindness they witnessed whilst on their clinical placements.

Dr Julia Montgomery [ADD LINK], who was involved in the project, said: "The students observed compassionate acts towards patients, within teams and from patient-to-patient. They commented on the importance of team working as future doctors and seeing teams supporting each other with kindness was inspiring to them. By using one of the resources from the toolkit, the powerful impact of seeing and recording these acts made them realise that compassion can be 'taught'."

The Cultivating Compassion toolkit has been disseminated throughout BSUH, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust, and Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Following the launch of the toolkit, it is hoped that the project will continue to grow organically over the years.

For further information on the project and the toolkit, please email