December 2012

Reputation Management in the NHS

Creating a Culture of Compassionate Care – Reputation Management in the NHS

The announcement this week that the NHS will be developing a culture of compassionate care highlights the importance for organisations of managing reputation from the inside out.

The move, a response to increasing criticism about the lack of humanity in some aspects of patient treatment within the NHS, aims to define the core values at the heart of the nursing profession.

These values - care, compassion, courage, communication, competence and commitment – are designed to re-establish the culture of NHS care. It makes it clear that, despite the pressures of budget cuts and servicing the needs of an ageing population, there are some standards that are non-negotiable.

The announcement is a lesson for any business struggling to maintain its own standards.

By stating these values internally, the good nurses are being given renewed pride in their profession and permission to demand equally high standards of their colleagues.  Those not up to the task are being given a clear message to find a new vocation.

By stating these publically, the NHS is influencing external perceptions.  Highlighting the good work it does on a daily basis and giving patients and relatives permission to speak out when the service falls below expected standards.

This is an excellent example of how a strong external reputation can only be upheld when supported by an authentic and positive internal culture.