“People need space for reflection and a chance to reconnect with each other more than ever”
13 January 2022
David Jones looks at how we can learn from and support the Schwartz Community as we seek to increase access to reflective practices.
I am very pleased to be writing this, my first blog as the new Head of Staff Experience Programmes at the Point of Care Foundation. I joined the Foundation back in October to oversee our work on Schwartz Rounds and staff wellbeing and I’ve spent the time since getting to know the wonderful community of people supporting greater humanity and compassion in care services.
I’ve spent my career working in the health voluntary sector, supporting and advocating for people who use services and the people who care for them. I came to the Point of Care Foundation because I believe the work it does is essential now, in the face of unrelenting system pressure. I am pleased to be part of a growing movement of people who recognise the need for colleagues in all corners of the care system to have space to reflect, connect and reignite the humanity that is central to care.
And that is what I am writing about today.
We are very aware of the desperately challenging situation the health and care system faces at the moment. Increased demand, ongoing COVID restrictions, the backlog of care, a major workforce crisis and staff who are tired and, too often, demoralised among many other challenges. We think people need space for reflection and a chance to reconnect with each other more than ever.
All of this makes us determined to try to increase the role that Schwartz Rounds can play in helping to provide emotional and psychological support for colleagues all through the system.
For the next few months we will be raising the profile of reflective practices like Schwartz Rounds and the benefits they can bring to individuals and organisations.
We also want to share knowledge from across the Schwartz Community about how to engage with some groups of people who we believe are not accessing Schwartz Rounds as readily as we would like:
- Groups of people who face systematic disadvantage (such as those with protected characteristics)
- People whose work makes attendance at Schwartz Rounds a challenge – owing to their workload, shift patterns or level of autonomy in their work
- Colleagues in primary care, care homes, community care, social work and so on who work in dispersed places
- Executives and senior leaders, who we know can face particular challenges engaging with Schwartz Rounds and who play such an important role in setting the tone in an organisation
We’d love to hear from you if you have managed to make progress on any of these challenges. We will share what we hear about with the wider Schwartz community.
We also want to hear if you are struggling with any of it and would like help. We can connect you to support and ideas. Please email me with any thoughts or reflections you have, or post your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #reflect2repair.
To help us increase the profile of this work, please look out for our materials online and share with your networks. The hashtag, #reflect2repair, neatly sums up the impact that reflective practices such as Schwartz Rounds can have.