It’s been quite a journey to here… will you help take the next steps?
2003 - 2012
The Compassion Practices have been developed since 2003 when Andy Bradley’s experiences of the health and social care sector suggested that they were driven by the forces of compliance and competition rather than those of compassion and humanity. Andy founded Frameworks4Change and worked with clients to create a more stable field of compassion in health and social care settings.
Andy is recognised by NESTA and The Observer Newspaper as one of Britain’s ‘New Radicals’. The compassion work is covered by the BBC and featured in a series of articles by The Independent newspaper that responded to concerns around the culture of the NHS highlighted by the Francis report and the Winterbourne View enquiry.
One Leadership support Andy’s leadership; Frameworks4Change and One Leadership offer Compassionate Leadership insights together at conferences and with leadership teams.
The first compassion circle lasting 2.5 hours is offered to a senior group of clinicians and NHS leaders in South Tyneside. A script for a one-hour compassion circle is developed, tested and evaluated.
The Aneurin Bevan University Health Board adopts compassion circles as an integral element to its work on employee wellbeing as part of a response to the Mid Staffordshire and Winterbourne View inquiries, changing the name to Taking Care, Giving Care rounds.
2016 – 2019
The work becomes increasingly influential both nationally and internationally, including:
- 2017, a year-long compassionate leadership inquiry across the West Midlands, led by Laura Simms in the context of loss and grief, sees Compassion Circle training by Andy Bradley & Paul Johanson, with practice an important feature
- 2019 Public Health Wales make Taking Care Giving Care rounds an integral part of their approach to the Mental Health Outcomes Collaborative and in 2020 together with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, host a conference on the practice. Benna Waites tells the five year story of implementation and presents data showing over 1000 staff have attended rounds since 2015 with highly positive evaluation data.
2020 – the pandemic hits
- 20 Minute Care Space is designed and rolled out in Bristol as a response to help care for frontline staff who are responding to the Covid 19 public health emergency, with a collaboration with UCL to evaluate the practice
- 10 Minute Pause Space and 5 Minute Me Space are endorsed by the NHS Mental Health Taskforce and made available on NHS digital platforms
- The Compassion Practices Collective is convened by The One Leadership Project with a view to making the compassion practices available to everyone working in health and social care – and beyond.
This CompassionPractices.net website is launched, with the aim of ‘liberating compassion globally’.
The rest – is partly up to you! Welcome…
Who is behind the Compassion Practices?
At the start of the Covid crisis, a small group met with one shared purpose – to make these powerful practices available to everyone, especially those in health and social care. We have diverse experience in the health system, in clinical psychology and in leadership consulting; we have been working on this initiative in a voluntary personal capacity.
Dr Alister Scott
Dr Alister Scott is Co-Founder of The One Leadership Project, a mission-based consultancy with the aim of ‘enabling catalysts globally’. Alister has been involved in making big change happen in a number of domains, including helping to achieve 50-year protection for Antarctica as a World Park, triggering early moves into responsible investing which is now directly leading to the flow of at least £100bn into this field, and, since 2010 through One Leadership, enabling many catalysts of big change and their teams.
Alister says: “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been made worse by the epidemic of unkindness that now seems to be a feature in so many aspects of life – the exclusion of ethnic minorities, the abuse of women, shutting out of the poor, the disabled and the vulnerable, and the destruction of the natural world. These are all linked and they are systemic in so many of our organisations. Compassion practices can play a significant part in helping us all to become kinder – to each other, to ourselves and to the natural world on which we all depend.”
Benna says: “Covid-19 has made us all more aware of the importance of sustaining people across the health and social care sector. However, the challenge of how we look after the people we rely on to care for others has been problematic for us for many years, as evidenced by the high levels of stress-related sickness absence, and by failures in compassionate care highlighted in Inquiries such as Winterbourne and mid Staffordshire. Compassion practices can be a catalyst for putting the humanity back into health and social care and we need them now more than ever.”
Laura Simms is a senior nurse, working on all things compassion, inclusion and health and wellbeing in a national role in the English NHS Improvement & NHS England’s People Directorate. In her roles as clinician, manager, leader, coach, executive and through leadership development, Laura has worked to enable individuals, teams, leaders and defined systems to reflect on what they need to thrive, often through deep self-work and relationships of trust. Laura was a founding executive of an NHS spin-out, social enterprise/community interest company, and an early member of BrumYODO, a social movement that celebrates the wonder of life through acknowledging that our earthly lives are finite, often explored through Death Cafés.
Laura says: “Being human in our complex, sometimes frightening world, can be tricky at best. We repeatedly ask more of those we work with, whilst being acutely aware ourselves of what that takes. This can drive us into a Catch 22 situation of never feeling quite enough. For ourselves or for our people, whether in or out of work. Too much threat and drive also risks compounding existing division and misunderstanding between people, and we can lose sight of ourselves too. Compassion practices create structured spaces for people to connect, to themselves, to each other and to a world where warmth, kindness, inclusion and hope seem possible. When compassion flows, amazing things happen.”
Powered by One Leadership
CompassionPractices.net is ‘Powered by One Leadership’ who have underwritten, helped to create and are helping to build this website and the network of excellent practitioners that stand behind it. This is part of their mission: ‘enabling catalysts globally’ – helping to make big positive change happen. For more information, see EnablingCatalysts.com. We’ve also been generously supported with the CompassionPractices.net website which has been designed and built by Martin Young from ConsciousnessDesigns.com.
“When you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.”
Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986)