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Intelligent Kindness: Reforming the Culture of Healthcare [Paperback]

John Ballatt , Penelope Campling
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 July 2011 1908020040 978-1908020048 first
Intelligent Kindness is a powerful new approach to healthcare reform. Ballatt and Campling argue that the NHS is a system that invites society to value and attend to its deepest common interests; it is a vital expression of community and one that can improve if society, patients and staff can reconnect to these deeper values. To do so will improve quality and patient experience, as well as morale, effectiveness, efficiency and value for money. Relentless regulatory and structural NHS reforms have failed to avert scandals and left many health service staff feeling alienated. Industrial and market approaches to reform, whatever their merits, urgently need to be balanced by an applied understanding of what motivates and assures compassionate practice. The authors examine this topic from a wide variety of perspectives, including psychoanalytic thinking, group relations, neuropsychology, social psychology and ethology. This book calls on policymakers, managers, educators and clinical staff to apply and nurture intelligent kindness in the organisation and delivery of care, and offers advice as to what this approach means in practice.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: RCPsych Publications; first edition (1 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908020040
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908020048
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

This wonderful book is an urgent plea for kindness as both the driving force and the touchstone of healthcare in the NHS. ...more than recommended reading. If I ruled the world, I would arrange for everyone who wields any power in the NHS to be locked in a room until they had read it. But then, of course, that is precisely the sort of dictatorial behaviour that the authors see as the antithesis of intelligent kindness, and so I am obliged to fall back on an unrestrained enthusiasm that I hope will prove infectious. --Review in British Medical Journal (BMJ) by Iona Heath, President of the Royal College of General Practitioners

A passionate and clear articulation of the issues of kindness within professional caring systems. The message is clear, well argued for and makes a case with conviction beyond rhetoric. --Dr Gwen Adshead - Consultant Forensic Psychotherapist, Broadmoor Hospital, Berkshire

To be kind is to be in harmony with human need, requiring empathy and a sense of equality. Kindness, camaraderie and mutuality are essential for our physical and emotional well-being, and never more so than when we are ill, or when we are caring for those who are ill. Ballatt and Campling show how kindness can work to heal individuals, organizations and society. --Kate Pickett - Professor of Epidemiology, University of York

Like any quality, compassion thrives under certain conditions and withers under others. The authors skillfully illuminate the processes that have tipped us just too far into the withering direction. A wise and compelling insight into the crisis in compassionate care within the health service, and what can and should be done about it. --Professor Paul Gilbert - Head of Mental Health Research Unit, University of Derby and Founder of the Compassionate Mind Foundation --Professor Paul Gilbert - Head of Mental Health Research Unit, University of Derby and Founder of the Compassionate Mind Foundation

A passionate and clear articulation of the issues of kindness within professional caring systems. The message is clear, well argued for and makes a case with conviction beyond rhetoric. --Dr Gwen Adshead - Consultant Forensic Psychotherapist, Broadmoor Hospital, Berkshire

To be kind is to be in harmony with human need, requiring empathy and a sense of equality. Kindness, camaraderie and mutuality are essential for our physical and emotional well-being, and never more so than when we are ill, or when we are caring for those who are ill. Ballatt and Campling show how kindness can work to heal individuals, organizations and society. --Kate Pickett - Professor of Epidemiology, University of York

Like any quality, compassion thrives under certain conditions and withers under others. The authors skillfully illuminate the processes that have tipped us just too far into the withering direction. A wise and compelling insight into the crisis in compassionate care within the health service, and what can and should be done about it. --Professor Paul Gilbert - Head of Mental Health Research Unit, University of Derby and Founder of the Compassionate Mind Foundation

Like any quality, compassion thrives under certain conditions and withers under others. The authors skillfully illuminate the processes that have tipped us just too far into the withering direction. A wise and compelling insight into the crisis in compassionate care within the health service, and what can and should be done about it. --Professor Paul Gilbert - Head of Mental Health Research Unit, University of Derby and Founder of the Compassionate Mind Foundation

About the Author

John Ballatt - Independent consultant advising on health and social care and organisational systems, Leicester. Penelope Campling - Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist at Francis Dixon Lodge (a therapeutic community), Leicester.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I have spent more than half of the last twelve months in an NHS hospital. The kind of hospital that makes me want to thank God for the NHS. Clean, friendly, strong research base, well trained staff. Good outcomes. What made the hospital special though was the culture of kindness that I experienced and witnessed most of the time. In fact, the occasional lapse only served to make the dominant culture clearer.

Intelligent Kindness is an important book and should be read by all who are involved in healthcare. This means clinicians, administrators, politicians, taxpayers and other citizens, ....everybody. However technical and evidence based it needs to be, at its heart is the centrality of relationships and the NHS is fundamentally an act of love. Although this may embarrass some, love is the central activity and this is a religious/political stance to the world. Of course, it is not party political nor denominational but it is act of charity and duty to care for the sick.Intelligent Kindness shows is how love is translated into action.

The book is of its time. It addresses the damage being done to the NHS by the current coalition regime and the authors do not hide behind a pseudo social science mask of objectivity. It is polemical in places but it needs to be. I cannot imagine any of the Hebrew Prophets adopting a "on the one hand this and the other hand that" BBC even handedness. Neither do the authors but they do respect their readers and write in a thoroughly accessible manner.

I strongly commend this book.

Dr Bernard Ratigan
Consultant Adult Psychotherapist

UKCP Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist
BCP award for outstanding professional leadership 2010
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By DAC57
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent book that reflects on the development of the NHS and the effect of the attempts to reform it in the last 30 years .
It draws on psychoanalysis, social psychology .neuropsychology ,ethology and group relations to examine what facilitates and nurtures compassionate care in Healthcare systems and what threatens it.
The references from each model are diverse and used creatively to develop a framework for developing Intelligent Kindness.Cultural, political and social factors that play into potentially diminishing compassion in our culture as a whole and into the NHS in particular are examined. The emotions experienced by healthcare staff ,they argue, needs bringing into conscious awareness at the individual psychological level of each clinician and manager in order that compassionate care can be nurtured and not destroyed on the individual practitioner level.They then go on to examine multidisciplinary groups and their dynamics , followed by a review of organisational dynamics .They carefully look at these systems and how they are affected by such things as the market economy, growing mistrust of professionals, regulation and performance management.The threat posed by the Industrialisation of Medicine was articulated very powerfully.
I write this review from the USA.I heard this week of a former professor at the local university who had a heart transplant .He had good health insurance but it does not cover the cost of the drugs he needs to take for the rest of his life.He needs $50,000 annually to pay for them.
People are only insured for a defined number of days of in-patient care --after that ?
The NHS is an example of a responsible culture prepared to care for the most vulnerable in society and share the cost .
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kind review 18 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback
Review from Anthony Lawton: Clear and committed. Thoughtful and stimulating. Ideas that all NHS personnel and carers (and politicians) should embrace, quickly.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent legacy 30 Dec 2011
Format:Paperback
This is an important book. It has profound things to say about the need for human connection and kindness in the healing of people's bodies and minds, and it has profound things to say about the multi-faceted danger of institutional anonymity and alienation.
The beauty of this book is that it is accessible on so many levels: as a genuinely interesting discussion of the history of the NHS and Britain's ever changing health policies; as an insight into the deep motivation, and nobility even, of people who commit their lives to tending the sick, from providing the most basic personal care to solving the most complex medical problems; and, most fascinatingly, as an essay on the nature of kindness, and the power of its practical application in the day-to-day real experiences of patients, wherever they are on the receiving end of health care.
Compassion and kindness are central to the wisdom of Buddhism. According to the Dalai Lama compassion is " a mental attitude based on the wish for others to be free of their suffering and is associated with a sense of commitment, responsibility, and respect towards others.'
What this book illustrates beautifully, and with compassion, is what can go wrong when a sense of commitment, responsibility and respect gets stifled, or strangled, by a system which privileges systems, structures, and unintelligent accountability above a sense of common humanity.
This book also speaks to other areas of the public sector, particularly education. As the Headteacher of a challenging urban secondary school, who believes in the concept of leadership as service, I found much which resonated with my own core values and much which usefully articulated what I have been trying to do intuitively for the past ten years.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindness and Compassion
Once of the best books I have read. It describes why the NHS is malfunctioning and why our focus is wrong. Read more
Published 3 months ago by clare
4.0 out of 5 stars Antidote to unintended consequences
This is a must-read for anyone working in the UK NHS and allied professions. It makes an impassioned cased for a more human and humane way of treating patients, carers and each... Read more
Published 5 months ago by David Dunbar
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
An excellent book, it just strengthens the core belief of care. As it says, it doesn't have the asnwers, but shows there is a potential do include care/compassion/spitituality etc... Read more
Published 8 months ago by mr cj kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, human and readable
Everyone needs to read this book! It discusses kindness in health care but could apply to any aspect of life
Published 13 months ago by Norgs
5.0 out of 5 stars Now we know what ails the NHS - lack of Intelligent Kindness
This book is a brilliant argument about what has gone wrong in the NHS since the Thatcher led reforms, which have been fully supported by every subsequent Government. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Dr. G. Caldwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
The book is thought provoking, and shows a very different and evidence-based approach to kindness. I am a bit anti-target, and believe people want to do a good job given the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Petya Ilieva
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful book
Helpful looking at a range of issues - highlighting the organisational and systemic problems in healthcare. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Tony T
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
Great alternative view of the development of our NHS. Highly recommend it to all members I'd MDTs. This historical overview coupled with contemporary thinking is impressive.
Published 22 months ago by Bob
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