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Rise in health workers taking part in monthly support meetings

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Increasing numbers of nurses are taking part in a monthly programme in which they discuss the emotional impacts and dilemmas from their work with colleagues from other disciplines.

Thousands of healthcare professionals now participate in the Schwartz Rounds initiative – designed to to help create a culture of compassionate patient care – as the number of organisations signed up to the scheme has quadrupled in around two years.

More than 100 trusts and other organisations such as hospices and private providers now take part in the scheme, four times the number of groups – which were mainly acute trusts – involved in April 2013.

“There is a risk that the energy put into supporting staff to deliver excellent care in the wake of the Francis inquiry will slip”

The Point of Care Foundation

There are now 64 acute, 10 mental health and seven community trusts contracted to run the rounds, as well as 17 hospices, three private providers an ambulance trust and two Welsh health boards.

The organisation responsible for providing training on Schwartz Rounds in the UK – the Point of Care Foundation – said it will now focus on developing the monthly meetings in community and other settings.

Schwartz Rounds were recommended by Sir Robert Francis QC’s inquiry into care failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust to help bring about positive culture change in the NHS.

In his findings, Sir Robert said Schwartz Rounds were a good method for bringing staff together for the benefit of the patient.

Jocelyn Cornwell, chief executive of the Point of Care Foundation, said the increase in organisations involved in the programme showed that culture change was taking place.

“The challenge will be to keep supporting staff to deliver excellent patient care in the face of immense financial, capacity and organisational pressures”

Point of Care Foundation

However, she warned that it was still a “difficult” time for the NHS and warned that investment in staff support could fall as financial and other pressures continue.

She said: “There is a risk that the energy put into supporting staff to deliver excellent care in the wake of the Francis inquiry will slip.

“The challenge will be to keep supporting staff to deliver excellent patient care in the face of immense financial, capacity and organisational pressures.”

“The Point of Care Foundation maintains that the NHS cannot deliver good care unless it provides good support to staff. Schwartz Rounds provide much needed support to healthcare staff,” she added.

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