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What are the six Cs of care?

Fonthill House, St Albans, Hertfordshire

The six Cs of care are a set of values that all patient-facing health and social care staff must adhere to. From registered healthcare professionals to nurses in nursing homes, anyone who comes into contact with residents, patients or members of the public must embody these values.

What are each of the six Cs of care?

Caring for patients can be a demanding and tiring job. The six Cs of care help caregivers to remember what’s important and maintain high-quality care each and every day.

1. Care

Care is at the heart of everything health and care providers do. It’s about treating patients with care, and understanding that everyone has different needs and preferences. The care provided needs to be right for the patient, at whatever stage of their life, whether it’s end of life care or helping with daily tasks for those in need of long term care. This level of consistent care is what people need, especially in care home environments when they may feel distanced from their families.

2. Compassion

Compassion in care represents relationships built on empathy, respect and dignity. People in care deserve to be treated with kindness, which is why carers need to be able to display compassion and an understanding of their patient’s situations. This person-centred care enables individuals to feel as though their careers have a genuine interest in them – which they do!

This level of compassion should extend to the decision-making when their own care is concerned. Feedback should be listened to and residents should feel as though they can confide in their carers.

3. Competence

Patients and residents rely on their nurses and carers to understand their health and social needs. It’s their responsibility to have the clinical and technical knowledge to deliver safe and effective care for individuals, from specialist 121 care to routine checkups, an element of expertise is always required. This is where the six Cs can be used in recruitment, to identify those qualified for the job and those who have the right qualities to work in care.

4. Communication

Communication is key in most workplaces but it also holds the utmost importance in care environments. To cultivate a successful caring relationship, nurses and carers need to be able to communicate effectively, share information and listen to feedback. This communication also needs to run throughout the care team, so everyone understands each patient/resident. 

Information communicated from residents needs to be treated sensitively and confidentially, which is where competence is also key.

5. Courage

Having courage enables us to do the right thing and speak up about concerns. Often, care workers are the voice for their patients and residents, meaning that they need to speak up about issues, whilst staying true to their workplace values. 

Having courage empowers staff to improve the care industry, voice their opinions and prioritise their residents.

6. Commitment

Commitment to patients is the foundation of the care industry. To show up as the best worker each day, nurses and carers must commit to the people they look after. Not only does commitment represent a dedication to the role but also a willingness to continuously improve, developing skills and knowledge.

Why are the six C’s of care so important?

The six Cs ensure that everyone within a care setting is looked after and fully supported – both the staff and the residents. They also strive to continuously improve the care industry, by setting values that encourage people to seek improvement and stand up for better practices. This consistent vision and set of values can be applied across the entire care sector, providing an easy way to train staff and attract the right people.

Whatever care services you or your loved ones require, it’s reassuring to know that all care environments follow the six Cs, ensuring each and every individual is treated with care, respect and dignity. This set of values is vital to the success of the care sector, as passionate workers continue to uphold the six Cs on a daily basis.

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