Introduction to the 6 Cs

The 6 Cs of nursing were introduced in December 2012 by NHS England’s Chief Nursing Officer, Jane Cummings. These six core values are at the heart of the Compassion in Practice strategy, guiding principles that every healthcare provider and professional must embrace and implement.

The 6Cs of nursing include the following key attributes:

1. Care
2. Compassion
3. Competence
4. Communication
5. Courage
6. Commitment

These values are the foundation for ensuring the delivery of high-quality care daily, by a diverse range of healthcare professionals, including:

  • Doctors
  • Carers
  • Clinicians
  • Support workers
  • Disability support workers
  • Therapists
  • Personal care assistants

In the following sections, we will explore the purpose and significance of each of the 6 Cs defined by the NHS. By understanding the unique essence of each value, we can better appreciate their profound impact on healthcare practices and individuals’ health outcomes.

1. Care

Care and support services must be tailored and constantly adjusted to the individual. This personalised approach can contribute to individuals achieving their treatment and life goals, leading a more independent and fulfilling life, and having a more active role in the community.

The value of care is defined as:

The care we deliver helps people improve their overall well-being and independence, and with that, it helps improve the health of the whole community. Caring defines us as an organisation and our work. People receiving care from our clinicians at Nurseline Community Services expect it to be right for them and provide support throughout every stage of their recovery.

By aligning care plans with an individual’s specific needs and aspirations, we empower people to actively participate in their own care and make informed decisions. This collaboration fosters a sense of ownership and empowerment, leading to improved treatment and better overall health outcomes.

2. Compassion

In addition to the quality of treatment and support plans, the way care is delivered holds significant importance. At the heart of this process are healthcare professionals, who play a crucial role in providing compassionate care while upholding the dignity and rights of the individuals they support.

The value of compassion is defined as:

Compassion is how care and support are given through the value of strong bonds based on empathy, respect and dignity. It can also be portrayed as intelligent kindness. The most important thing is how people perceive their care and what feelings they nurture while receiving it.

Listening to and understanding the needs of individuals is a crucial capability that healthcare professionals must possess. Through active and empathetic listening, professionals gain valuable insights into the individual’s concerns, preferences, and goals. This empowers them to provide person-centred care tailored to the specific needs and aspirations of the individual.

3. Competence

Competence is linked to recruiting healthcare workers and teams and ensuring each person is qualified to provide support. The value is used to assess the personal values of applicants to a specific role, their qualifications, and leadership potential to improve people’s lives and achieve positive outcomes.

The value competence is defined as:

Competence means that all those providing care must have the ability to understand an individual’s health and social needs.  It is also about having the expertise of clinical and also technical knowledge to deliver effective care and treatment plans based on research and evidence and proven processes.”

By prioritising competence in care, healthcare providers and teams demonstrate their commitment to ensuring the highest standards of care provision. It involves a comprehensive approach that encompasses both qualifications and personal attributes, creating a workforce that is equipped to deliver exceptional support services and positively impact the lives of those they serve.

4. Communication

Communication is vital for providing quality care and support to people with healthcare needs. Team members can establish and maintain effective work relationships with excellent communication and coordination. This is vital as good communication can minimise the risks of errors regarding record–keeping, monitoring of medical records, and reporting.

The value of communication is defined as:

Communication is based on successful and caring relationships and effective teams that work in sink… it is the key to a good workplace also for those receiving our care.

Furthermore, communication between clinicians and the people they serve is crucial. Care should be tailored to the individual’s preferences, needs and desires. With good communication, the care and support team can better understand and adjust the services for individuals.

5. Courage

Courage is crucial for care and support delivered in a challenging environment and conditions where the safety of the supported individual is at risk. It’s important to understand how to keep oneself safe while ensuring the individual receiving support remains safe, and their well-being is cared for.

The value of courage is defined as:

Courage gives us the strength to do the right thing for the people we care for and speak up and find suitable solutions when we have concerns. It means we have the strength, agility, and vision to innovate and embrace new ways of working and thinking.

The value of courage also helps healthcare professionals speak up when they notice errors, mistakes, or anything else that can jeopardise the care and support services. While it can be intimidating to speak up, it’s essential to respectfully speak up to ensure that care is not being negatively impacted.

6. Commitment

Commitment to individuals receiving support is the foundation of healthcare. Healthcare professionals must be committed to the vision, strategy, and approach to achieve positive outcomes.

The value of commitment is defined as:

Commitment is something that is very valuable to hold. People almost always look up to healthcare workers and even express curiosity about their private lives. This means people working in the healthcare industry need to look after their own health and conduct themselves as role models. Therefore, carers need to continuously strive to be a guide and role models for the people under their care.

Furthermore, healthcare professionals must be committed to caring for their own emotional, mental, and physical well-being. This ensures they can provide unparalleled care to the people they serve.

Importance of the 6Cs in Nursing

The 6 Cs in nursing are essential guiding principles for healthcare professionals and providers. These values help improve the healthcare sector by encouraging healthcare professionals to advocate for individuals, uphold ethical principles, and challenge practices that may compromise individuals’ safety or well-being. Collaboration and teamwork are highlighted, promoting effective communication, mutual respect, and shared goals among healthcare professionals, ultimately leading to improved care coordination and positive outcomes.

The 6 Cs are person-centred, ensuring that people receiving care have their needs, preferences and desires met. These values are all about ensuring the right and quality care is delivered in the right place, at the right time, by the right professionals.

Furthermore, the 6 Cs foster continuous improvement by encouraging professionals to develop their skills, improve their knowledge, and engage in reflective practice. By promoting a culture of lifelong learning and improvement, the 6 Cs contribute to ongoing professional growth, innovation, and the delivery of high-quality care.


The 6Cs in Nurseline Community Services

Nurseline Community Services provides compassionate nurse-led mental health support, tailoring our services to the unique needs and preferences of each individual we serve.

Our aim is for people to improve their well-being and build a sense of self and purpose. Through person-centric care, Nurseline Community Services helps the people we serve remain as active and independent as possible.

We apply the 6 Cs of nursing in our support, everyday activities, and interactions to ensure we provide transformative care.

Our offices are located in Bristol, Birmingham, and Gloucester.

To learn more about how we can support you, or a loved one, contact us today.