1000 and counting Care Makers marks first anniversary with major milestone

Caremakers compassion in practice

03 / 4 / 2014 3.38pm

More than 1,000 health and social care professionals from across England have signed up as Care Makers in the programme’s first year of operation, pledging to spread the principles and practice of the ‘6Cs’ throughout the health and care services.

The Care Makers programme, which sees staff acting as frontline ambassadors for the national strategy for nursing, midwifery and health care staff Compassion in Practice, was developed along a similar model to the 2012 Olympic Gamesmakers. The energy and passion which volunteers brought to the London Olympics has been translated into an inspirational drive within health and social care force for individuals to commit to implement the 6Cs and inspire colleagues to do the same.

The developers behind the Care Makers programme found that it proved so popular during its first year, they were delighted to extend entry requirements to allow non-nursing staff to join up.

Originally aimed at student and junior nursing professionals, the programme was piloted in December 2012 with a cohort of 55 Care Makers. Following its official launch on 1 April 2013, it attracted so much interest from across the health and care service that the programme was opened up to medics, non-clinical staff and other health professionals, including those at senior levels.

The Care Makers programme now includes a network of doctors, a finance director and a hospital chaplain among its number, as well as clinicians, support staff and students from a wide range of disciplines.

The core principles of the programme remain constant: all Care Makers, no matter what level they work at, which sector they are in, or whether they are in a frontline or support role, must demonstrate and advocate the 6Cs in their practice and in their own personal beliefs.

Individual Care Makers share and spread ideas and examples of delivering the 6Cs within their own organisations, among colleagues and across networks, disseminating the vision set out in Compassion in Practice and ensuring it is delivered at the frontline.

Chief Nursing Officer Jane Cummings said:

“Compassion in Practice set out a new vision for how nursing and midwifery staff can demonstrate their compassion and care to every patient, in every situation, in every contact. But unless a vision is brought to life, it is not much more than a mirage. Over the first year of the Care Makers programme, individual Care Makers have helped make the vision a reality, pledging not only to be the change, but to encourage and support others to make it happen too.

“I have met a number of Care Makers over the past year. They are new recruits to the health service, long-serving professionals, junior support staff and senior directors – as diverse as our patients. But each shares a true and deep commitment to making their individual practice as compassionate and caring as possible, and to spreading their commitment throughout their organisations and more widely. They are each an inspiration, and I am grateful for their participation in Care Makers and their passion for compassion and change.”

Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said:

“The Care Makers programme has gone from strength to strength over the past year, and we are delighted that it has expanded to include participants from medical and support roles, in addition to nurses, midwives and health care assistants. At the core of the programme is the commitment to highlighting the centrality of compassion to delivering great care. Including other staff groups as Care Makers is a clear demonstration that compassion doesn’t distinguish between job titles or roles – everyone working in health and social care can make a difference for patients by putting compassion front and centre.”

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