Health and Social Care

What are the 6 C’s of Care? Compassion in Care

The 6 C’s of care are a part of the duty of care. People working in health and social care in the UK are obliged to perform the duty of care to whoever it needs. All healthcare practitioners, including full-time and part-time, have a responsibility for care. NHS England chief nursing officer Jane Cummings launched 6 C’s in December of 2012 to support the culture and practice of organisations delivering health and social care. These 6 C’s are viewed as the standard of care in healthcare.

According to, “1.9 million people requested support from their council last year, an increase of more than 100,000 since 2015/16. In 2019/20, 838,530 adults received publicly funded long-term social care, primarily in care/nursing homes or in their own homes.

A doctor is holding hands of an old patient with care and compassipn

In addition, there were 231,295 episodes of short-term care provided.” With the increasing number of people receiving care, it becomes important to enhance the quality of provided care by health practitioners and caregivers. Considering this, it has become a legal obligation for the health and social care workers to maintain and follow the 6 C’s to achieve the best health and well-being.

The 6 C’s hold a critical place in healthcare, and this blog intends to give you all the insights on the 6 C’s. If you want to know what are the 6 C’s of care, this blog is just for you.

What are the 6 C’s of Care, and what do they mean?

The 6 Cs include the qualities and values that all health and social care workers must display in their behaviour, beliefs, and interactions with others at all phases of care and treatment delivery. The 6 C’s are Care, Compassion, Competence, Communication, Courage and Commitment. Each of the 6 C’s has a different purpose, and each of them plays a significant role in the care, and this is why following and maintaining the 6 C’s is a legal obligation in the UK.

The 6 C’s of care involves caring and listening to a person with empathy, being thoughtful of their feelings and beliefs, treating them with the utmost respect and giving them the best service possible.

A young nurse is talking and smiling with an old patient sitting in a wheelchair

Explaining the 6 C’s of Nursing and Care

    1. Care-

      The first C of the 6 C’s is the Care. Caring characterises both the profession and the people who work in it. It’s also vital to remember that persons receiving care will have different requirements and expectations at different phases of their lives. Hence it’s necessary to adapt care to their specific needs and expectations. As a result, workers must constantly change their understanding of what constitutes quality care.

    2. Compassion-

      Treating people with kindness, empathy, patience, and consideration is what Compassion is about. It is often known as intelligent kindness and is essential to how individuals see their care.

    3. Competence-

      Competence is best described as the skills, abilities and knowledge that you use to comprehend people’s both physical and mental health. Understanding patients’ needs using your skills and expertise is where competence is used in care.

  1. Communication-

    Communication is the most critical in health and social care as this is the only way you will ever understand the needs and wants of the people you will be working for. Everyone has a different way of communicating; hence the care workers should adapt to the ways their clients or patients communicate. Listening is the first and foremost step of communication. Being a good and attentive listener can help you understand what the speaker is trying to convey.

  2. Courage-

    In health and social care, it is essential to have courage as you might have to face difficult situations or take challenging decisions. It needs the courage to speak up and express your concerns if you believe anything is being done unfairly or incorrectly. Also, you need the courage to innovate and attempt new approaches to your work.

  3. Commitment-

    You would need to be exceptionally committed to your work if you choose to work in health and social care settings. You must show commitment to every individual in your care so that they can receive the best care and support from you. You also have to improve yourself continuously to do better in your profession.

A mother and daughter enjoying time together

Why Are 6 Cs of Care So Important?

Individuals, families and communities depend on the health and social care workers for their collective well-being. 6 C’s have been introduced to make sure that the vulnerable and people in need of care are getting the best care and living as comfortably as possible.

The 6 C’s of care do not only focus on taking care of the patients physically, but it is also concerned with both the psychological and emotional state of the patients. The 6 C’s are consciously designed to look at every aspect of a patient’s well-being.

The 6 C’s were introduced to be the standard of health and social care. They provide values that are pretty important for people who are seeking care. The motive of the 6 C’s is to give the patients the best care and compassion by competent workers who communicate well, dare to bring a change, and are committed to providing their best every day.

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Applying 6 C’s in practice

The following ways you can apply the Six C’s in practice.

  • Work together across professional lines to ensure that people receive high-quality care.
  • Be aware of behaviours that hinder human-to-human communication.
  • Information, data that works well, and best practices should be shared among others in health and social care.
  • Listen carefully to patients, their families, and anyone involved in their care.
  • Effectively collaborate between professionals/organisations.


Each of the Six C’s plays a significant part in health and social care. When applied together, they bring out the best service for the patients. There is no alternative to the quality of care in health and social care without utilising the Six C’s.

Therefore, the health practitioners and caregivers are trained to follow the Six C’s at work to ensure high-quality treatment as well as care and compassion.

At last, I hope this blog has helped you resolve all your concerns related to what are the 6 C’s, their importance and how to apply them in practice.

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