Schwartz Rounds are confidential facilitated group spaces that enable healthcare staff and/or students to hear and share stories of the emotional, ethical and social impact of work on them providing a group space for reflection. They were originally developed by the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care in Boston, USA, and are named after a patient called Kenneth Schwartz who died of lung cancer in the mid-1990s. In the terminal phase of his cancer, he noted that the ‘smallest acts of kindness’ from staff made ‘the unbearable bearable’. He recognised that for staff to connect with and provide compassionate care for patients, they needed a space to reflect on and share the impact of this emotional work on them. The Point of Care Foundation (PoCF) brought Rounds to the UK in 2009. They hold the licence to train and support Rounds, and organisations require a contract with the PoCF to do so.
In recent years Rounds have expanded into UK HEIs for healthcare students, and currently run in 21 HEIs. Following a national evaluation of Rounds in healthcare settings led by Prof Jill Maben, the University of Surrey began running Rounds in the School of Health Sciences in May 2019 for our students and we also run them separately for our staff. In total we have run 16 Student Rounds and 23 Staff Rounds (online since the start of the pandemic).
The #SchwartzSouth project aims to spread Rounds (using a “hub and spoke” model with University of Surrey as the hub, and HEIs new to running Rounds as the spokes) for healthcare students and where possible newly qualified non-medical staff (NQS) across Southern England. The University of Liverpool (UoL) and Point of Care Foundation (POCF) HEI Network are project partners and will be supporting throughout.
Aims and objectives
The project comprises two phases.
Phase One kick-started with an engagement event at the University of Liverpool #SchwratzNorth conference on 22 March 2022. This provided an opportunity to introduce the project to staff from HEIs across Southern England, to find out about Schwartz Rounds and their impact and to know more about what is involved in running them with students and newly qualified staff. In this first phase, the University of Surrey will work with up to three HEIs in Southern England to enable them to start running Schwartz Rounds with healthcare students and where possible newly qualified staff by providing engagement, consultation and ongoing mentoring support from University of Surrey staff as well as funded pump priming packages for each HEI. At the same time, Rounds for students at the University of Surrey as well for academic staff will continue. We will be evaluating the Rounds in the new HEI sites (quantitative and qualitative evaluation) and continue a robust evaluation of the process and impact of the Rounds at the University of Surrey.
Phase Two will start with another event where University of Surrey and the phase one HEIs will share the learning with other HEIs across Southern England. This event will allow new potential sites to find out about more about Schwartz Rounds and to know what is involved in running them with students and newly qualified staff. University of Surrey will work with a further four more HEIs in Southern England to enable them to start running Schwartz Rounds with healthcare students. We will also continue working with the three HEIs from phase one as well as run Rounds for students and academic staff at the University of Surrey. We will continue our evaluation of the process and impact of the Rounds at the University of Surrey and extend this protocol to the new sites as they are introduced.
Introduction to the Schwartz South project
Watch an introduction to the Schwartz South Project by Professor Jill Maben.
Professor Jill Maben
Professor of Health Services Research and Nursing
Jill is a nurse and social scientist and her research focuses on supporting staff to care well for patients. Jill qualified as a Registered nurse at Addenbrookes in Cambridge and studied History at UCL, before undertaking her Masters in Nursing at King's College London and completing her PhD at the University of Southampton. She completed her PGCE at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2007. Jill was deputy Director (2007-2010) and Director (2011-2014) of the Policy Research Programme's National Nursing Research Unit at King's College London.
Jill was awarded an OBE in June 2014 for services to nursing and healthcare. In 2013 she was in the Health Services Journal ‘Top 100 leaders’ and was also included on Health Service Journal’s inaugural list of Most Inspirational Women in Healthcare the same year.
Jill is passionate about creating positive practice environments for NHS staff and supporting staff in the work they do caring for patients and her programme of research has highlighted the links between staff experiences of work and patient experiences of care- https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/hsdr/081819213/#/ This was one of the first studies to demonstrate relationships between staff wellbeing and patient experience at the team and individual level demonstrating that staff wellbeing is an important antecedent of patient care performance.
Jill's doctoral work examined what supported and what prevented newly qualified nurses implementing their ideals and values in practice, highlighting how ideals and values of new nursing students can become compromised and crushed in poor work environments. She also recently completed the first national evaluation of Schwartz Centre Rounds in the UK: “A Longitudinal National Evaluation of Schwartz Centre Rounds®: an intervention to enhance compassion in relationships between staff and patients through providing support for staff and promoting their wellbeing” [https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/hsdr/130749/#/] she has developed a short film from this work: Understanding Schwartz Rounds: Findings from a National Evaluation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C34ygCIdjCo
Other recent studies include an evaluation of patient and staff experiences and safety outcomes of a move to 100% single hospital bedrooms. [https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/hsdr/10101342/#/] and interventions to support healthcare staff including Schwartz Center Rounds and to improve relational care for older people in hospital [https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/hsdr/1212910/#/] The single room evaluation work is now being replicated in Australia; Holland and Denmark.
Current studies include the Impact of Covid on Nurses (ICON) (Burdett Trust; Florence Nightingale Foundation and the Colt Trust) and NIHR studies:
Care Under Pressure 2: Caring for the Carers a realist review of interventions to minimise the incidence of mental ill-health in nurses, midwives and paramedics: www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/hsdr/NIHR129528/#/ and
Strategies to address unprofessional behaviours among staff in acute healthcare settings: a realist review: www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/hsdr/NIHR131606/#/
Professor Cath Taylor
Professor of Healthcare Workforce Organisation and Wellbeing
I am Professor of Healthcare Workforce Organisation and Wellbeing in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Surrey. I have worked in Health Services Research since 1997, following completion of a Psychology degree at Swansea University. My academic career began at Imperial College London (1997-2002) followed by Kings College London (2002-2017).
My main research interests are improving the wellbeing of the NHS workforce and assessing and improving multidisciplinary team working in healthcare teams. In relation to the wellbeing of NHS staff, I have conducted national cohort studies of mental health in hospital consultants, and worked alongside Professor Jill Maben (also at University of Surrey) to complete a national evaluation of Schwartz Center Rounds in the UK, funded by the NIHR. I am currently funded by NIHR to complete a realist synthesis aimed at understanding how to improve mental wellbeing in nurses, midwives and paramedics. My work in relation to multidisciplinary teams led to the development of a cancer multidisciplinary team assessment and feedback tool (named MDT-FIT) that won QiC Oncology Digital Innovation of the Year in 2016. I am currently working with Surrey and Sussex Cancer Alliance to support and evaluate improvements to multidisciplinary team meetings across three tumour pathways.
Schwartz Rounds Surrey Administrator
Professor Jill Maben and Professor Cath Taylor led the NIHR-funded national evaluation of Schwartz Rounds, the largest and most robust evaluation of Rounds to-date, with findings showing the beneficial impact of attendance at Rounds on a range of outcomes, and a realist-evaluation leading to a depth understanding of how and why they work.
Our outputs including films and an organisational guide for implementing and sustaining Rounds can be found on our A Longitudinal National Evaluation of Schwartz Centre Rounds®.