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Published: 14 February 2014

International hub for nursing ethics research launched at Surrey

International Care Ethics (ICE) Observatory aims to shine new light on ethics in health and social care.

The International Care Ethics (ICE) Observatory will pursue high quality interdisciplinary research, encourage ethical practices in care organisations and act as an advocate for the rights and interests of those who receive care and their family and friends, as well as those who provide it.

Based within the University’s School of Health and Social Care, the ICE Observatory is a collaborative effort between the University and the Ethox Foundation charity. It succeeds the International Centre for Nursing Ethics, which was established in 1999 by Dr Verena Tschudin and Professor Geoffrey Hunt who initiated the field of care ethics in the UK and set up the journal Nursing Ethics.

Dr Ann Gallagher, Director of the ICE Observatory and Reader in Nursing Ethics at the University of Surrey, said: “The Observatory marks a shift from a focus on health care and professional ethics to engagement with ethical issues that impact on health and social care activities in the broadest sense, and I am delighted that the Observatory team has a wide variety of expertise to drive forward this work.

“The Observatory’s role is to engage with current challenges, conduct research that provides insights to underpin constructive responses to these challenges and offer ethics education that enables care-givers and leaders to better appreciate the importance and value of everyday care activities and the crucial contribution they make to the lives of others.

“We need to counter views that care-giving can be done well speedily, on the cheap and without time and space being prioritised for care-givers to reflect on the ethics of their practice and the quality of the relationships in care contexts.”

Find out more about the ICE observatory and Health and Social Care programmes and research at Surrey.