Compassion takes as its starting point 'Cum scientia caritas', the motto of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Translated as 'Science with compassion', it captures the technical and caring aspects of being a doctor. Science is continually developing but compassion is unchanging. But how relevant is compassion to the NHS today? Compassion is central to the practice of health care. Patients require compassion as much as they require knowledge and technical skill from their healthcare professionals. Compassion should be a motivation for anyone choosing a career in primary care. However, in recent years there have been startling instances where compassion has not been shown. Compassion: Compassion, Continuity and Caring in the NHS is a reminder that compassion is at the heart of good medical practice. The book is split into sections on patients, education and training, clinicians and future developments. There are overview chapters on access to health care, the changing model of NHS care, a history of GP selection procedures and ways of preparing the next generation of GPs.This wide-ranging book also contains chapters on specific topics: the role of the multidisciplinary team, homeless patients, prescribing, nursing in primary care, post-conflict symptoms, suicide prevention and more. Personal perspectives are also given: A layman provides a personal account of the end-of-life care his wife received. A junior doctor reflects on the different factors that guide compassion. And a doctor from the United States offers a worrying picture of primary health care's possible fate. This book looks to the future too with chapters on scholarship, building resilience, mindfulness, continuity of care and the development of a new professionalism. This book will help the reader reconsider and re-evaluate compassion - the characteristic so important in creating a long-term relationship between health professional and patient.
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