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New podcast episode – Compassionate leadership in the Northern Ireland health and social care system 

20 September 2023

The latest episode of ‘Care to chat?’, a podcast from the Northern Ireland Social Care Council’, tackles the topic of ‘Compassionate leadership’ and why this is so important right now.

Prof. Michael West, CBE Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology at Lancaster University, contributes alongside senior leaders from across health and social care in Northern Ireland who are working on your behalf to help the system work better for us all. For these leaders’ compassion is central to their practice including, Patricia Higgins, CEO Social Care Council, Jennifer Welsh, CEO, Northern Health and Social Care Trust and Jonathan Patton, Chair, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and Vice-Chair of NICON.

Dr Wendy Austin MBE explores how compassion towards service users, colleagues and yourself, creates compassionate cultures in health and social care ensuring better outcomes for service users.

Professor Michael West said:

“In practice, compassion towards another in pain or distress entails attending, understanding, empathising, and helping. Attending means being present with the other, listening with fascination to their concerns; seeking to understand the causes of their distress through having a dialogue; empathising with them and then trying to help in some way.”

He continued:

“So, if we want to create compassionate cultures in health and social care, as we absolutely should, then we need leaders to embody compassion in their leadership.”

For more information

The Social Care Council releases a new episode every fortnight, discussing current topics about social care and social work regulation in Northern Ireland. Download, subscribe and listen to the latest Social Care Council ‘Care to chat?’ podcast episode today here, or by searching ‘Care to chat’ in your podcast player.

If you have questions or feedback about the podcast, email