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Comforting Hands

International Network for Empathy in Healthcare

What We Do

Share best practice

Share information about events

Catalyse the move towards more empathic healthcare


About Us


Empathy research, practice, and teaching are thriving globally, with dozens of empathy-related organisations (centres, museums, research groups). These organisations share the common aim of improving patient (and practitioner) outcomes, and could learn from each other, generate synergies, and share best practice.

This umbrella organisation has seed funding from the Oxford Empathy Programme and the Stoneygate Centre for Empathic Healthcare to create and manage this website. This virtual space will enable leaders of different empathy organisations and initiatives from around the world to connect.


By creating this forum we aim to catalyse connections between empathy organisations and reduce unnecessary repetition. Member organisations will be expected to contribute to biennial summits, bringing together expert leaders in the field.



The main aims of this non-partisan organisation are as described below.

  • To provide a virtual place where the leaders of the different empathy organisations around the world can connect to:

    • share best practice;

    • share information about events; and

    • catalyse the international move towards more empathic healthcare.


  • To host a biennial summit of empathy organisation leaders worldwide, to generate synergies, share best practices, and produce joint statements




This umbrella organisation will be non-partisan and not promote any individual organisation. The activities are listed above.



Any organisation* dedicated to empathy in healthcare will be eligible to join. Membership will be simple and consist of:

  1. Name, logo, and contact details of key person on the website

  2. Access to the email list


Individual researchers who have research programmes dedicated to empathy (for example, they have written a book about empathy) will also be eligible.


“Empathy” is closely related to several other terms ranging from compassion and sympathy to person-centred care, only organisations working explicitly on empathy will be eligible in the first instance. We will explore compiling a list of related organisations who may be able to join as non-members.



SecretaryJeremy Howick


Deputy secretaryTracy Levett-Jones

AdministratorCatherine Eyres


*In the first instance, academic organisations and charities will be invited to join. A model for commercial organisation inclusion or mention will be developed within the first year. Individual academic researchers with an established track record of research and teaching empathy (for example, who have written a book on empathy) will be viewed for the purposes of this network as organisations.

All Hands In
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