Inspiration: Schwartz Rounds in the community

Inspiration: Schwartz Rounds in the community

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Organisations: Health Education South London and Health Innovation Network

Overview

A Schwartz Round is a regular, scheduled time and place to openly and honestly discuss social and emotional issues that arise in caring for patients.

The stresses of today’s healthcare system, including financial pressures and administrative demands can mean less face-to-face time with the patient and a focus on diagnosis and treatment rather than the impact of illness on the patient and family. Many staff working in health and social care are anxious, frustrated and under pressure, and they might lack structured outlets for expressing their feelings and preparing themselves for the difficult communication issues that are an inevitable part of patient care.

Brief Summary

Health Education South London (HESL) and Heath Innovation Network (HIN) have made a firm commitment to working in partnership to support local organisations to deliver compassionate care. As part of this work we have commissioned the Point of Care Foundation to offer a number of sites across South London training and support to implement Schwartz Rounds.

The Point of Care Foundation provides support to new sites in terms of training for facilitators and clinical leads, mentoring time and a network of support provided by existing sites. Schwartz Round implementation started in UK in hospital settings but the focus of the HESL and HIN initiative is to try it out in community, mental health and primary care.

Following an open competition, we have awarded six sites in South London:
Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice.
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.
South West London & St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust.
The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability.
Your Healthcare CIC.
St Christopher’s Hospice.

Our sites are in the process of preparing for their first Round.

Area of work

In relation to the four foundations of our declaration, this project aims to:

  • Happy staff with the right skills

Service user involvement?

As part of the application process sites have explored how they will demonstrate the impact of this programme on service users and carers.

Advice for others

The Point of Care Foundation hold the licence for Schwartz for UK and have a wealth of information, expertise and networking opportunities available. The application process we followed asked sites to demonstrate how they will gain ownership and by ready for implementing the programme.

Link for more information

Cornwell J (2009). ‘See the person in the health professional: how looking after staff benefits patients’. Nursing Times, 8 December.
Available at www.nursingtimes.net

Department of Health (2009). NHS Health and Well-being Review – Interim Report. London: Department of Health.

Goodman Research Group (2008) Schwartz Center Rounds Evaluation Report: Executive Summary.
Available at www.theschwartzcenter.org

Goodrich J, Cornwell J (2008). Seeing the person in the patient. London: The King’s Fund

Sanghavi DM (2006). ‘What makes a compassionate patient-caregiver relationship?’ Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety 32(5): 283-292

Schwartz KB (1995). ‘A patient’s story’. The Boston Globe Magazine, 16 July
Available at www.theschwartzcenter.org

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