Stoneygate Centre for Excellence in Empathic Healthcare

Centre aims

Our vision is to create a Centre of Excellence that will provide the leadership required to place empathy at the heart of improved and effective healthcare. We will be world-leaders in the development and delivery of transformational empathy training, in establishing the best means of assessing clinical empathy, and in measuring the impact of empathic healthcare on patient and practitioner outcomes.

Centre of Excellence definition

An academic Centre of Excellence is a flagship team or shared facility that provides expertise and leadership in a specific area, and is internationally respected for the quality and real-world relevance of their research.

The Centre’s 10-year aims are to:

  • Establish improved selection criteria to proactively screen for an aptitude for empathy in the students we recruit onto healthcare degree programmes, and engage in outreach activities to widen access for underrepresented groups across all areas of health and social care education.
  • Revolutionise the way we teach empathy, embedding empathic skills at the heart of clinical care training and fostering an empathic, compassionate, and caring approach to medicine and patients.
  • Expand and adapt the modular training programme to serve all levels and areas of health and social care. Our comprehensive training offer will support practitioner resilience, especially in their first five years post qualification, and help to develop compassionate leaders, who recognise the need for a better working environment, thereby improving recruitment, retention and ultimately, providing patients with the quality and continuity of care they deserve.
  • Review and evaluate the current tools to measure different domains of empathy in students and practitioners throughout their learning and, where needed, develop and validate new instrument(s) to best evidence the impact of training on student/practitioner empathy, wellbeing and resilience. In particular, the Centre will seek to more explicitly define the link between empathy and practitioner resilience, as a powerful benefit to embedding empathy at the heart of practice, especially in the wake of COVID-19’s devastating and ongoing impact on wellbeing and retention within the workforce.
  • Review and evaluate how the impact of empathic practice on patient outcomes and experience is currently assessed and, where needed, develop and validate new tools.
  • Develop strong partnerships with national organisations and local care providers to secure endorsement and rollout of our training offer nationally, and see our research underpin healthcare policy and decision making.
  • Seek to ensure that empathy becomes a part of continuous appraisal and assessment of performance, thereby setting a standard for the delivery of high-quality care.

Through the expertise and dedication of the team, and with the enduring support of the Stoneygate Trust, we will cement Leicester’s place at the forefront of the empathic healthcare movement, and make the Centre a world-leader in the development, retention and measurement of empathy. Together, we will place empathy back at the heart of our healthcare system, to provide compassionate care for the benefit of both patients and practitioners.

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