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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for all healthcare workers, patients and potential patients, 9 July 2011
This review is from: Intelligent Kindness: Reforming the Culture of Healthcare (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
5.0 out of 5 stars PROMOTING KINDNESS :UNDERSTANDING THE FACTORS THAT THREATEN COMPASSIONATE CARE, 2 Sep 2011
This review is from: Intelligent Kindness: Reforming the Culture of Healthcare (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 .It is one of the greatest innovations in history .It is in need of protection.
All politicians ,policy advisors,health care policy workers, healthcare managers and frontline clinicians should read this highly accessible book in order that they nurture intelligent kindness and protect the good of the NHS.
I highly recommend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kind review, 18 Oct 2011
This review is from: Intelligent Kindness: Reforming the Culture of Healthcare (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
This review is from: Intelligent Kindness: Reforming the Culture of Healthcare (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. However the book also present an undisguised challenge to all of us to meet the tough demands of intelligent kindness.

Penny Campling recently retired from full time work with the National
Health Service, having devoted the last 20 years of her life as a consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist, undoubtedly practising the kind of intelligent kindness she advocates in this book. In addition to the many patients who will have benefited deeply from her wise leadership of her service, this is a fine legacy to have left future practitioners and policy makers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, human and readable, 5 July 2013
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Everyone needs to read this book! It discusses kindness in health care but could apply to any aspect of life
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now we know what ails the NHS - lack of Intelligent Kindness, 15 April 2013
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Dr. G. Caldwell (Worthing, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Intelligent Kindness: Reforming the Culture of Healthcare (Paperback)
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. The authors argue that we have moved from a market economy to a market society, where everything is measured in monetary terms. The NHS was founded to support the whole of society, to provide succour regardless of personal wealth or poverty, race, creed or sex. Kindness cannot be measured in terms of money, and has now been allowed to drain away, leaving unkind situations so graphically reported by the Francis Inquiry. Intelligent Kindness is not just passing sympathy, it should be at the core of clinical working. We have slipped so far, it will be a hard journey back to recognising kindness and patient's autonomy as core values in healthcare. It is very important that this book has been written. Now move on to reading "Overdiagnosed" ....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 3 April 2013
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This review is from: Intelligent Kindness: Reforming the Culture of Healthcare (Paperback)
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 chance, so this book really appealed to me. I would recommend to anyone in healthcare to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book, 13 Oct 2012
This review is from: Intelligent Kindness: Reforming the Culture of Healthcare (Paperback)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love the philosophy of finding the courage to be kind, 5 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Intelligent Kindness: Reforming the Culture of Healthcare (Paperback)
I love the philosophy of finding the courage to be kind; I hope that this book starts a trend for NHS professionals to take the brave step to fight to improve patient care. I like to hope one person at a time can make a difference, however, we will need more than one excellent book, with it's motivating philosophy, to fight against institutionalised professionals and target driven business incentives. Excellent start though, everybody should read this and take it's idea's into practice via their heartstrings. We may not be all NHS professionals but we are all NHS patients, this is an important subject that no-one can, or should, avoid having an opinion of. Please stop asking me to sell this book because I read it, whenever I have a bad day at work, to remind me that things can get better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kindness and Compassion, 6 May 2014
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Once of the best books I have read. It describes why the NHS is malfunctioning and why our focus is wrong. How can NHS staff espouse kindness and compassion to patients, when they receive anything but themselves. This book pulls together psychodynamic interpretations against organisational and leadership theories to help explain what is going wrong with the NHS and suggests ways of redeeming things.
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Intelligent Kindness: Reforming the Culture of Healthcare
Intelligent Kindness: Reforming the Culture of Healthcare by Penelope Campling (Paperback - 1 July 2011)
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