Supporting hospice staff: Schwartz Center Rounds at St Joseph’s Hospice

Jenny Watmore-Eve, Social Work Manager, St Joseph’s Hospice, London, UK, asks some important questions about the cost of caring that relate to a longer article in this month’s European Journal of Palliative Care.

The team behind the Schwartz Rounds at St Joseph's: (left to right) Dr Abigail Wright, Jenny Watmore-Eve, Mary Flatley and Dr Anjali Mullick

The team behind the Schwartz Rounds at St Joseph’s: (left to right) Dr Abigail Wright, Jenny Watmore-Eve, Mary Flatley and Dr Anjali Mullick

Question: Have you ever found yourself in a multidisciplinary staff forum where the audience is silenced by the eloquence of colleagues describing the intimate detail of their everyday work, and been aware of the almost electric current that connects the staff group?

Question: Have you ever sat in such a group and been moved to tears by the stories of patient care with a realisation that it is ‘the small things’ that make a huge difference?

Question: Have you ever found yourself filled with a sense of pride to be a member of such a group of wonderfully caring people who utterly believe in the importance and value of their work?

Question: Have you ever found yourself feeling the huge frustrations shared by staff, the dread of another long shift of trying, possibly without succeeding, to assist a ‘warring family’ and having to go home feeling totally emotionally spent?

Question:Have you ever heard staff at all levels sharing their human experiences on a level plane, and by doing so begin to understand one another’s roles a little better?

Question: Have you ever been amazed to consistently welcome 30 to 50 members of staff (from a total of 300) from all departments to a monthly forum?

Read the full article in the March edition of the European Journal of Palliative Care

Read the full article in the March edition of the European Journal of Palliative Care

Answer: The answer to all of the above is ‘yes, I have!’ Every month when I co-facilitate the Schwartz Center Rounds at St Joseph’s Hospice in the East End of London some or all of the above occur. We have found that the Schwartz magic has to be experienced to be believed. After observing a ward round myself at the Royal Free Hospital in London in September 2011, I was determined to introduce the rounds here and set out to sell the idea to all the staff. We held our first round in January 2012 and consistently have a healthy attendance with a mix of clinical and non-clinical staff who give positive evaluations of the experience. The staff who present on the panel feel a sense of pride sharing their experiences to such a rapt audience and are empowered by the sense that their emotions are not unique.

I am so excited by this work and believe that the benefits to the staff and organisation, and therefore the patients we care for, are broad and multi-faceted.

I urge you to read our article, and the earlier post by Joanna Goodrich from the King’s Fund, and to contact us at St Joseph’s for more information.

Let’s hear from you…
We would welcome other readers’ experiences of staff support through the comments section of the blog. How do you get rid of frustration or anger, and how do you share your successes? Please comment below.

To find out more…
The article to which this post relates, Supporting hospice staff: the introduction of Schwartz Center Rounds to a UK hospice setting by A Mullick, A Wright, J Watmore-Eve and M Flatley, is published in the March/April 2013 issue of the European Journal of Palliative Care (vol. 20, issue 2). If you already have a web-based subscription to the EJPC you will be able to download and print this issue, plus all articles in the EJPC archive. Get a discounted subscription to the EJPC  if  you are a member of the EAPC  – click here to subscribe online.

If you missed Joanna Goodrich’s post on Tuesday, click here to read more about the Schwartz Center Rounds.

This entry was posted in EAPC-LINKED JOURNALS, European Journal of Palliative Care and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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