Humanising Healthcare


The Leadership is key to the system; if leaders don’t have contact with patients/clients then the workers don’t have a human approach.

‘Behaviour change happens in highly successful situations mostly by speaking to people’s feelings.’
Kotter and Cohen (2002)

Also need to think about organisations that are leading the system, such as Skills for Health.
We might also like to bear in mind the concept of the Servant Leader (Greenleaf, 1970, see, for example,, acknowledging that leaders in health and social care are indeed working to serve those for whom services are provided.

‘Servant leaders encourage collaboration, trust, foresight, listening, and the ethical use of power and empowerment.’

Empowering patients, service users as well as staff, by taking time to listen to – and value – their stories is one of the approaches that is encouraged by people like leadership guru Margaret Wheatley, 2002, 2005, 2006, (see We might be able to influence some leaders through the Health Foundation Leadership Fellows Programme.


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