Concern to ensure compassion and empathy are core experiences in care services are now a priority following appalling scandals in care homes and hospital settings. Of course, at a time of economic austerity and threats to health and social services, caring about those in socially excluded groups seems to be less of a priority for governments, national and local. Improving the health and wellbeing of the population at large is one approach to this – that is, creating a more compassionate and caring society, within which all citizens can expect fair treatment and supportive concern when they face hard times. However, these aspirations then beg the question, why do we not have compassionate care in care services, and why is society no longer, or no more compassionate.
These series of short essays from experts is refreshing and thought provoking ; they are a poignant reminder that, there is no blue print to guide us through this moral maze. True compassion is visceral; it turns the guts with deep emotion, and so leads to merciful action. There is depth in the experiences that are shared, some intimate, some heart-breaking. Collectively, these essays highlight an essential need for self-compassion and compassion to one another with the aim of sharing knowledge and changing lives; we add these narratives to the reservoir that has gone so far. We are planning to publish more essays to provoke more conversations on compassion and care
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