Lancaster University Management School Professor’s new book brings compassion to healthcare leadership

Professor Michael West and his new book, Compassionate Leadership

A new book by a leading light in improving supportive leadership across the health service showcases how to look after the wellbeing of those whose job it is to care for others and ensure high-quality and compassionate care.

Professor Michael West, of Lancaster University Management School, has worked with the NHS throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to protect the wellbeing of frontline staff, and received a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2020 for services to compassion and innovation in the health service.

His new book Compassionate leadership: Sustaining wisdom, humanity and presence in health and social care draws from his long academic career and engagement with health service bodies across the UK.

“People who work in health and social care provide inspiring support for health, happiness, and wellbeing across society,” said Professor West. “Yet their workplaces often harm their own health and wellbeing, affecting care quality, motivation and patient satisfaction, and corroding cultures of compassion.”

Compassionate Leadership gives an evidence-based approach to transforming the leadership and cultures of health and social care teams and organisations. It describes practically a strategy based on the core human value of compassion, showing that sustaining value in health and social care, can cultivate wisdom, humanity, presence and high-quality.

Professor West added: “This is a call for leaders to nurture compassion within themselves and across health and social care, to support healthier and happier institutions and communities. It challenges leaders at every level to have the courage and authenticity to embody compassion in their leadership.”

For information about Professor West’s Compassionate Leadership book, visit

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