Customer care in the NHS
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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


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 05 July 2013

Accepted: 29 September 2014