Dr Robin Youngson to talk about compassion in healthcare at Taranaki DHB

26 August 2015

Taranaki DHB is hosting a workshop and presentation on compassion in healthcare from internationally renowned anaesthestist Dr Robin Youngson, co-founder of Hearts in Healthcare.

Mrs Mary Bird, Taranaki DHB Service Improvement Advisor said, “Dr Youngson’s presentation is a unique opportunity for staff at Taranaki DHB to be reminded of the importance of compassion in providing safe health care. It will include stories of caring and connection in health services and is supported by the Clinical Board.” 

Dr Youngson is a consultant anaesthetist in New Zealand, internationally renowned for his work on compassion in healthcare. As a founding member of New Zealand’s Quality Improvement Committee, Dr Youngson was the New Zealand representative on the WHO International Steering Committee for Patient Safety Solutions. “Dr Youngson’s visit to Taranaki DHB is timely as it ties in directly with a project we are currently working on regarding patient-centred care called Health Together: Hauora Huihui,” said Mrs Bird.

“This project aims to improve the way we work with consumers (patients) at all levels of the organisation by involving them more frequently in discussions about health services and listening to and learning from their perspectives,” she added.

In his book, Time to Care, Dr Youngson states “Healthcare’s focus on physical disease and bio-medicine is unbalanced. We need to pay much more attention to emotional, psychological and spiritual wellbeing and the huge importance of healing relationships.”

This concept of ‘humanising healthcare’ aligns directly with the Health Together: Hauora Huihui project as one of its main focuses is to ensure that both patients and their families are encouraged and supported in actively participating in decisions made about their clinical health care.

“There is already exciting work and examples of patient-centred care occurring in many areas of the Taranaki hospitals,” commented Mrs Bird.

“The development of this project means that in time all services will move from providing services that do things to and for patients, to one where health professionals work in partnership with patients and families to support them with their health needs,” she  said.


There will be opportunities for media interviews with Dr Youngson on Thursday 27 August. Please contact Greer Lean, Taranaki DHB Communications Advisor on 027 807 9084 for more information and to arrange a time.

As a consultant anaesthetist in New Zealand, Dr Youngson is renowned both within New Zealand and internationationally for his work on compassion in healthcare. He is a founding member of New Zealand’s Quality Improvement Committee and was the New Zealand representative on the WHO International Steering Committee for Patient Safety Solutions.

Dr Youngson is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Auckland University; Editorial Board of the Journal of Compassionate Healthcare; Global Compassion Council of the international Charter for Compassion. Robin is the author of the acclaimed book “Time to Care – How to love your patients and your job”.

Dr Youngson and is wife Meredith Youngson (a microbiologist and community development advocate) are co-founders of Hearts in Healthcare, a global social movement for health professionals, students, patient-activists and those who are passionate about humanising healthcare.

For more information about Dr Youngson and his work, please see www.heartsinhealthcare.com.


Last updated: Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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