This is the conclusion of a debate paper commissioned by the NHS Confederation and authored by Robin Youngson, a UK-trained anaesthetist and clinical leader in New Zealand.
He claims that policies that rely on incentives and penalties ‘fundamentally miss the point’. He argues that care needs to focus on ‘nurturing a humane quality of understanding suffering in others and the desire to do something about it’.
Nigel Edwards, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said: ‘This presents a major cultural, clinical, management and leadership challenge for which the NHS must prepare.
‘Individuals within the system must also take action,’ he said. ‘Emphasis must be placed on staff taking a personal responsibility for behaving with compassion."