Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are Rounds confidential?
Yes, everyone who attends agrees that no names will be used and what is said during the hour is not attributed to individuals.
Q: Do we have to go through The Point of Care Foundation?
Yes because we have a license with the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care in Boston, USA to run the Rounds in the UK. Part of that agreement is that Rounds will be run in a certain way.
Q: How long does it take to get them started?
Our experience suggests that it takes between three to six months to gain organisational support and secure funding required to run Rounds. It is important to have a core group of supporters who will lead on the introduction of Rounds from the outset.
Q: Do you have to have a senior clinician championing the Rounds?
This has been shown to be one of the ingredients for success and ensures that clinicians (doctors and nurses) attend the Rounds along with colleagues from other professional backgrounds. In community or mental health based organisations it may be more appropriate that the clinical lead should be a senior nurse or other health professional rather than a doctor.
Q: Is it necessary for the Chief Executive and Board to support them?
No. It is not mandatory but we strongly encourage you to ensure that your Chief Executive or senior management team are supportive. At the organisations running Rounds, board members often attend, which helps to show organisational commitment.
Q: Should we invite volunteers?
It is up to individual organisations and their steering groups to decide whether or not to invite volunteers to the Rounds. Some organisations open up their Rounds to all volunteers, some limit the invitation to patient-facing volunteers and others have decided not to allow volunteers. The most important thing to consider is the safety of the Round and the ability for staff to feel confident about speaking openly to the group about their experiences.
Q: How long do Rounds normally go on running?
When you sign up to run Rounds it is a commitment to run them indefinitely. We know from evaluating Rounds that they are more beneficial the more often participants attend.
Q: Can we train more than two facilitators to run Rounds?
Yes, there is no limit to the number of facilitators that can receive training. However there will be an additional cost to train extra facilitators beyond the number stipulated in the contract.
Q: Do Rounds have to take place at lunchtime?
No. Although Rounds tend to work well at lunchtime, they can take place at any time of day, depending on what suits the organisation and facilitates the best possible attendance. Provision of catering is essential, whenever the Round takes place.
Q: Is there a minimum number of people required to run a Round?
There is no formal minimum and it will depend on the size of your organisation, but generally a Round will not be as effective unless there are at least ten participants in addition to the panel and discussion leaders.
Q: Are Rounds CPD accredited?
Schwartz Rounds have been accredited by CPD-UK, who give third party assurance that the Rounds meet CPD standards. It is up to individual staff members to identify the learning benefit, number of points and type of CPD activity, e.g. reflective practice.
CPDUK say: “The CPD Certification is widely recognised by professional institutes and organisations that require their members to enhance their professional skills on a continuous basis. There are over 350 professional institutes in the UK alone and they all have their own particular requirements. Ultimately, it is up to the individual attending a course to evaluate for themselves the learning benefit gained and to claim the appropriate credits/points from their professional institute or organisation. This may be in the form of structured or unstructured CPD activities.”
Q: Can we change the feedback form?
The same set of questions is asked of all Rounds’ participants in the UK and US. This is important for standardisation and is part of our licence agreement with the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare™. You can add questions but please do not remove or change any.
Q: Can patients attend Rounds?
Schwartz Rounds exist to provide a space for staff to come together regularly to discuss the emotional and social aspects of working in healthcare. Some staff feel less comfortable discussing their emotions in front of patients.
One or two organisations have run a Round with a patient on the panel, but we would advise you to discuss any patient involvement with your mentor and steering group in advance to ensure that you have considered the advantages and any potential disadvantages.
Q: Can we run a Round by videoconference?
A small number of organisations in the UK have attempted to use videoconferencing. One hospice has written about their successful experience of running Rounds via videoconference.
Tips for videoconferencing:
- Test your technology well (two-way video-conferencing preferable)
- Have a facilitator to manage the discussion at all participating sites
- Allow remote participants to contribute to the discussion
- The usual rules apply to remote participants, e.g. ground rules confidentiality, evaluation
Q: How much is it to train extra facilitators?
The standard training is spread over two days. Day 1 takes place prior to facilitating Rounds and includes an introduction to Rounds, topic generation, panel preparation, facilitation skills and a live Round. Day 2 takes place after experience of facilitating at least 3 Rounds and includes ideas for sustainability, advanced facilitation skills, further panel preparation skills and a live Round.
Most facilitators will be required to attend both days of training, but some may opt to attend only the second day of training based on their level of experience. To attend Day 2 only the person will need to have attended at least three Rounds; co-facilitated a minimum of two Rounds; attended a panel preparation session and post-Round debrief with an experienced facilitator; and read the handbook.
Standard training costs £450 per person per day.