The Compassion Project: A case for hope & humankindness from the town that beat loneliness

The Compassion Project: A case for hope & humankindness from the town that beat loneliness

by Julian Abel, Lindsay Clarke


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The true story of the town that beat loneliness
Frome in Somerset, UK has seen a dramatic fall in emergency hospital admissions since it began a collective project to combat isolation. While emergency admissions to hospitals across Somerset have increased by 29%, incurring a 21% increase in costs, Frome has seen admissions fall by 17%, with a 21% reduction in costs.

Society has developed in such a way to facilitate a drastic malnourishment of community, connection and compassion. This book sets out the case for the effective restoration of the active power of compassion as a widely available, fundamental force for good in all aspects of human life. In the process, it draws attention to research which demonstrates that an innate capacity and need for compassionate behavior is closely woven into the fabric of our bodies.

But this is also a book with stories to tell - the stories of how, by harnessing the power of compassion in the lives of real men and women, the small English town of Frome has opened up a new approach to the practice of medicine which has improved individual health and welfare while at the same time enhancing the vitality of the whole community. The effects of this approach have proved so beneficial that it has attracted international attention and is now transforming perspectives on issues of healthcare and social welfare across the world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781783253364
Publisher: Octopus Books
Publication date: 09/01/2020
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Dr Julian Abel a recently retired consultant in palliative care, has worked for two and a half years as joint-leader of the roll-out of the Frome project with Dr Helen Kingston, the town's lead GP, and is currently leading the implementation of the Frome Model in Wales. He is Vice-President of Public Health Palliative Care International, and as a recognized expert on Compassionate Communities has made presentations on the Frome model in Europe, the USA and Australasia. He publishes regularly in peer-reviewed medical journals.

Lindsay Clarke is a Whitbread Award-winning novelist and widely translated freelance writer living in Frome. He has been Writer-in-Residence and Associate Lecturer on the MA Creative Writing Course at Cardiff University, Resident Scholar at Schumacher College, and is a long time Creative Consultant to the educational work of the Pushkin Trust in N. Ireland

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction xi

Part 1 The Warmth of the Heart: A Story of Compassion and Community

1 An Encounter in the Hospital 2

2 Points of Light 8

3 A Malnourishment of Compassion 26

4 The Remedy, or Why Compassion Matters 40

5 Compassion in Action 54

Part 2 Harnessing the Power of Compassion

6 Compassion and the Individual 88

7 Weaving Compassionate Networks 106

8 Compassion in General Practice 133

9 The Wider Reach of Compassionate Action 161

10 The Politics of Compassion 192

In Conclusion 205

A Manifesto for Compassionate Communities 209

The Compassionate City Charter 215

Acknowledgements 219

Index 221

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