The overall aim of this pilot project was to explore the perceived relationship between the cultural diversity of nurses (to include midwives and healthcare assistants) and its impact on compassionate care. Objectives included investigating BME and non-BME nurses perspectives on compassionate care, what enables and inhibits compassionate care and on evidence from NHS documentation of patients, relatives’ and staff’ views as to what enables and undermines good care.
The project was initially planned to be of three months duration. However, this was extended due to delay with ethical review and challenges with recruitment during an exceptionally busy period in the NHS. The project had three components:
a literature review;
qualitative interviews with nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants
and a review of Trust documents.
Focus groups with other members of staff were planned but were not possible due to Trust care demands and staffing challenges.
Four key themes with sub-themes were identified from the analysis of the 16 qualitative interviews. The themes are (i) elements of compassionate care which involves: treating people as individuals; the provision of fundamental care; care of the family; and the demonstration of empathy and sympathy (ii) enablers of compassionate care which include: good teamwork; staff development opportunities; and a positive organisational culture (iii) challenges regarding compassionate care which include: staffing levels and workload; patient challenges and expectations; bullying and discrimination; and organisational culture and (iv) perceptions of impact of nurses’ culture on compassionate care which relates to: the influence of nurses’ culture; and the impact of the cultural background of the nurse on compassionate care.