University of Manchester and St Ann’s collaborate on new study

Staff from the University of Manchester and St Ann’s Hospice are collaborating on a new research study investigating employee gentleness in patient care.

By News Team on September 23, 2016

Gentleness Daycare Nurses Little Hulton

Professor David Holman, Professor Leo McCann, Dr Clare Mumford from Alliance Manchester Business School, and Dr Maurice Nagington from the Division of Nursing, are carrying out the project to understand more about what employees do when they treat patients gently, and how that gentleness is fostered by organisations.

The study, which includes extensive observation of daily work at the hospice, actively involves staff and patients in the data collection process, with the majority of observations being carried out during day care sessions.


Gentleness is a form of care-giving about which relatively little is known, but as anyone who has been a patient themselves will understand, being treated gently can be an extremely important and valued part of the care received. From our research, we know that the level of care provided by St Ann’s is excellent and we were able to observe many instances of staff and volunteers being gentle by caring for patients in an unhurried, warm, friendly and compassionate manner. We’re really interested to learn more about what that means to those being cared for, and we hope that the results will help other organisations apply some of the same techniques, where appropriate. Professor David Holman
Feedback we receive from our patients and their loved ones shows that the professional, kind and gentle approach we apply to their care is greatly appreciated and has a huge impact on their experience in the hospice. We’re looking forward to seeing the results of the study, and, as a local business, it’s a pleasure to collaborate with experts from the university in this way.  It’s also exciting that the results of this project will hopefully be shared with other health and social care practitioners, as we’re always happy to share our knowledge and expertise in end of life care with others. Rachel McMillan, deputy chief executive and director of clinical services at St Ann’s

The project is funded by the Lord Alliance of Manchester donation to the Alliance Manchester Business School.