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NHS managers express interest in £5k ‘compassionate leadership’ course

NHS managers are planning to pay £5,000 for an eight-day course to teach them more ‘compassionate leadership’, Pulse has learnt.

The course – run by a leading health thinktank – looks at using mindfulness meditation techniques to create a ‘cultural shift’ in the NHS and has already garnered interest from managers throughout the NHS.

The King’s Fund said the course aims to tackle the cultural issues uncovered by the Francis Inquiry in failings of care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

It is now hoping to start the first classes from June, as an eight-day programme split over five months.

The King’s Fund said: ‘Mindfulness enables compassion and compassionate leadership, which is key for the provision of safe, quality care and the cornerstone of shaping the culture shift called for in the recent Francis, Keogh and Berwick reports.’

A spokesperson from the King’s Fund said that the course had been on the website for a few weeks and already had attracted some interest from NHS managers.

She added: ‘This is especially for those working and leading in complex and uncertain environments needing compassion, like health and social care. It is a practical course providing intensive small group and one-to-one support focusing on the real work issues being faced by the attendees.’

The course will set NHS managers back £4,495 plus VAT and includes accomodation for five nights, but ‘can be funded… by a third party’, the spokesperson said. Alternatively, attendees can apply to use the King’s Fund bursary scheme.

It comes after Robert Francis QC’s independent inquiry into the care provided by Mid Staffordshire hospital between 2005 and 2009 lambasted the cost-cutting and target-driven management culture at the hospital which led to a non-compassionate environment with appalling levels of care and needless deaths.