Making a difference for patients at UCLH

Helping staff talk through difficult emotions resulting in patient care

We support the mental health of our staff by providing sessions to talk about how their work has impacted them emotionally.

Home News & events Helping staff talk through difficult emotions resulting in patient care

Healthcare workers deal with highly pressured and challenging situations on a daily basis but have little time to reflect on the emotional impact their work has on them. Schwartz rounds are group reflective practise forums which allow staff from all disciplines to share stories from their working lives and to explore the human reactions experienced when caring for patients.

“The rounds are not about problem solving, but taking time to reflect about our work and the impact that it has on us”, said Lisa Anderton, head of patient experience.

The rounds were introduced to UCLH in 2013, after they were founded by Kenneth Schwartz who recognised the positive impact of receiving positive care and also the emotional cost that this has to staff.

Since Schwartz rounds began at UCLH, UCLH Charity has supported by providing funding for catering along with the training up of the facilitators, who are UCLH clinical staff. Recent topics discussed in the rounds include the loss of a colleague and bullying.

Vicki Mitchell, Divisional Clinical Director Theatres and Anaesthesia UCLH is a facilitator of the rounds, and she said that it is great to see people process their feelings and reconnect with the importance of the work that they do. “Schwartz rounds are special, the subjects discussed are often very difficult but sharing these stories is very cathartic and help to deal with feelings of stress, anxiety or detachment.”

Staff feedback

From April 2014- July 2018 90% of Schwartz rounds attendees said that the case discussed in the rounds was relevant to their daily work. 82% said that they gained knowledge that will help to meet the needs of patients and 89% said that they have gained insight into how others think and feel in caring for patients. 95% said that they would attend the rounds again and 98% said that they would recommend to a friend or colleague.

Lisa Anderton said, “The feedback from staff demonstrates that the rounds are valued by staff - they help to reduce the feelings of stress and isolation which make it easier to provide better, compassionate care for patients.”

For more information about Schwartz rounds, please contact: lisa.anderton@nhs.net