NHS Values, Compassion and Quality Indicators for Relationship Based Person-Centred Healthcare; Comment on “Morality and Markets in the NHS”

Document Type : Commentary


Keele University, Keele, UK


The paper by Gilbert et al. should be on the table of every politician and National Health Service (NHS) manager in the run up to the general election, when the NHS is at the hustings. They have raised profound moral dilemmas of the internal and external market in their present form, such as the practicalities of distributive justice and the enhancement of autonomy – to which are added the preservation of personhood, the values of listening, the maintenance of altruism and the origins of compassion. It is asserted that the quality of healthcare is dependent on the quality of the caring relationship between healthcare staff members, and between staff and patients. The nature of Compassionate Resilience is outlined with respect to Health Visitor training – and the contribution of faith communities to public health is also considered. The four Quality Indicators of an enabling environment first proposed by Cox and Gray are summarised, and the need for increased conceptual clarity of these key values recognised.


Main Subjects

  1. Gilbert BJ, Clarke E, Leaver L. Morality and Markets in the NHS. Int J Health policy Manag 2014; 3: 1-5. doi: 10.15171/ijhpm.2014.123
  2. Cox JL, Gray A. The College reply to Francis misses the big question: a commentary on OP 92. Psychiatric Bulletin 2014; 38: 152-3. doi: 10.1192/pb.bp.114.047514
  3. Gray A, Cox JL. The roots of Compassion and Empathy: implementing the Francis report and the search for new models of healthcare.  European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare 2015; 3: 122-30.
  4. Richards T.  Welcome to the hospital of the patient. BMJ 2014; 349: 16-8.
  5. Page A, MacInnes  A, Marsh M.   National Induction framework for newly qualified,  return to practice and new area Health Visitors. London: Institute of Health Visiting;  2015.
  1. Cox JL, Gray A.  NHS at the Hustings: four quality indicators for a person-centred medicine.  European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare 2015; 3: 1-3.