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'Talking pilot' rolled out to community practitioners

NHS staff will have monthly meetings to reflect on patient dilemmas as part of a scheme to encourage a culture of compassionate care. 

Robert Francis cited 'Schwarts Center Rounds' as a positive influence on culture in his report on the failings at Mid Staffordshire hospitals. 

After pilots in NHS trusts the scheme will be tested with GP practices, district nurses and clinicians in the community. 

Over the next two years close to £650,000 will be given to the Point of Care foundation to expand the scheme. 

Monthly Schwartz Center Rounds have been established in 15 NHS trusts. In two years the government hopes an additional 40 trusts will have the scheme. 

Staff from the pilot sites said they now “communicate better with their patients and colleagues”, “feel less isolated and more supported” and “feel better able to cope with the emotional pressures of their work”. 

“As a doctor, I know how rewarding it is to care for patients, but that there isn't always the right culture that allows staff to share the challenges they have faced while caring for patients,” said Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter. 

He added: “Schwartz Center Rounds have been shown to help hospital and care staff support each other and learn about how to deal better with tough situations, and spend more time focused on caring for patients in a compassionate way.” 

The Point of Care Foundation will use the grant to run information sessions for interested acute trusts across the NHS. 

They will provide advice and guidance to trusts on how to organise and manage Schwartz Center Rounds, as well as train staff on how to run them.

Chris Ham, Chief Executive of The King's Fund, said: “The Point of Care programme has played an important role in encouraging the development of high-quality, patient-centred care. 

“I am delighted that, through the programme, the Fund piloted and evaluated the pioneering Schwartz Rounds to support NHS staff in providing compassionate care.”