Department of Midwifery, Community and Public Health

Claire Chambers presents Janki Foundation Lecture

Thursday, 11 August 2011


The Janki Foundation for Global Health Care lecture entitled "The Art and Science of Compassionate Care" was presented by Claire Chambers from the Department of Social Work and Public Health at Oxford Brookes University. Claire leads the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing in Health Visiting and School Nursing courses and the Community Specialist Practice courses in District Nursing and Community Children's Nursing and was invited as a guest speaker after Dadi Janki the founder of the Janki Foundation heard her being interviewed on Radio 4 in 2009.

The lecture focussed on the results of Claire's detailed research into the many facets of compassionate care. This research had shown that as well as empathy and sensitivity, dignity and respect, compassionate care also encompassed listening and responding, a sensitivity towards diversity, choice, empowerment and advocacy. She examined the difficulties and pressures experienced by competent, caring practitioners and addressed ways of dealing with these issues.

The event attracted 200 participants who included those interested in spirituality in healthcare, people listed on the Janki Foundation database, members of the general public, patients, and students of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University. Some of the international guests had come especially to attend a retreat with Dadi, but unfortunately at the last minute she was unable to attend and Sr Jayanti, European Director of the Brahma Kumaris, kindly agreed to stand in for her.

Reduced price conference rate leaflets were available for the book 'Compassion and Caring in Nursing' (2009), written by Claire and her colleague Elaine Ryder. A limited number were also available for purchase, including some signed by Claire. These two authors have now written a second book entitled 'Excellence in Compassionate Nursing Care: Leading the Change' which is scheduled for publication in 2012.

Claire said she was deeply honoured to be asked to speak at this annual event. It had been a very interesting evening, with questions being asked after the lecture which demonstrated great engagement with the topic area. She had found the subsequent informal discussions very inspiring and humbling. The views expressed by different nursing, medical, occupational therapy and dental practitioners, as well as other lay individuals from different faiths, was very encouraging, people had been moved by the case scenarios and the points raised in the lecture.

One attendee commented on the lecture that "it has been the most compassionate and caring sharing that I have ever heard about all my life. Well researched and thoughtful".