Working in a hospital environment comes with its own challenges, sometimes causing a huge emotional impact on staff.
That’s why Imperial Health Charity has been a keen supporter of the Schwartz Rounds, helping to fund regular sessions for staff to reflect on their experiences and help them process stressful situations in a calm, supportive environment.
The sessions, held at the three main Trust sites and part-funded by the charity, give staff an opportunity to share concerns and experiences and reflect on challenges they’ve faced.
A recent Schwartz Round focused on the Grenfell Tower fire and featured staff who helped care for the victims.
Dr Anu Mitra, a Consultant emergency physician who was on duty in A&E as people from the fire were brought to St Mary’s, said: “I found it very helpful to hear stories of how others found it tough. It was reassuring to me to see that I wasn’t alone.”
“Although there were many people at the Schwartz Round it still felt very intimate and private, and so I felt comfortable sharing.”
The Rounds started at the Trust in June 2015 and have had more than 1,800 attendances. Staff feedback showed that 97% would recommend the Schwartz Rounds to a colleague and 83% felt they gained knowledge that would help them care for their patients.
Dr Neill Duncan, Consultant in Renal Medicine and Clinical Lead for the Schwartz Rounds, believes that the sessions can be particularly valuable in the wake of major incidents.
“The thing about the Grenfell Tower fire was that we feel very strongly that we’re part of the community of West London”, he said.
“You saw the families on the TV and the terrible pictures of the tower and you thought ‘that’s West London, those are our people!’ and those were the kinds of things that came out from this particularly impactful Round.”
“People feel engaged and have a sense of kinship that they’re part of a bigger whole; they feel valued and have a better level of understanding of each other. It’s very candid, people tell their story in a very open way and they open themselves very personally.”
Schwartz Rounds continue regularly on all main sites and welcome all staff, clinical and nonclinical, students and trainees, and healthcare colleagues working in neighbouring community settings.
The next scheduled sessions are:
Friday October 20 - St Mary's 3-4pm
Thurs November 9 - Hammersmith 3-4pm
Monday Nov 20 - Charing Cross 1-2pm
Monday Dec 4 - St Marys 1-2pm
For more information about the Schwartz Rounds, contact email@example.com