Customer care in the NHS
Fred Ruddick Senior lecturer (mental health nursing), University of Cumbria, Carlisle, England
Viewing individuals in need of NHS care as customers has the potential to refocus the way their care is delivered. This article highlights some of the benefits of reframing the nurse-patient relationship in terms of customer care, and draws parallels between good customer care and the provision of high quality patient care in the NHS. It explores lessons to be learned from those who have studied the customer experience, which can be adapted to enhance the customer care experience within the health service. Developing professional expertise in the knowledge and skills that underpin good-quality interpersonal encounters is essential to improve the customer experience in health care and should be prioritised alongside the development of more technical skills. Creating a culture where emotional intelligence, caring and compassion are essential requirements for all nursing staff will improve patient satisfaction.
Nursing Standard. 29, 20,37-42. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.20.37.e8069
Received: 05 July 2013
Accepted: 29 September 2014
Published in print: 14 January 2015Peer review
This article has been subject to double blind peer review