Background to the CARE Approach
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Moreover, in The Healthcare Quality Strategy for NHSScotland, the CARE Measure (see Appendix 1, p. 61) is recommended for use across the whole of the NHS in Scotland as one of the ways to obtain patient feedback regarding the provision of person-centred care. The CARE Measure was developed and validated by Professor Mercer and colleagues in the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh almost 10 years ago and is now widely used in Scotland, the UK more broadly and internationally. This patient-rated experience measure assesses the quality of healthcare interaction in terms of the ‘human’ aspects of the encounter from the patient’s perspective. The measure can be used to give direct feedback to practitioners on their strengths and weaknesses in terms of empathy as experienced by the patients (Mercer et al., 2004). The CARE Measure is also being used in GP appraisals, and in the assessment of GPs in training across the UK as part of the new Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) workplace-based assessment. Although initially developed and validated in general practice, the measure has also been validated in secondary care settings and is currently being used in nursing and allied health professions (AHPs) as well as in medical specialities. A major formal validation of the measure in nursing and AHPs in Scotland is being carried out by Stirling University, Scotland, and is near completion.