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Introducing Schwartz rounds at UCL Medical School

“A Schwartz Round is a forum for clinical and non-clinical staff from all backgrounds and levels of a healthcare organisation to come together and explore the impact that their job has on them. A team who has cared for a patient, tell their story and this is followed by discussion, exploring issues that have arisen. It is NOT about problem-solving – rather, it is dedicated time for reflection and a safe place to voice feelings not often shared, such as frustration, anger, guilt, sadness, joy, gratitude and pride…[Such Rounds] have a positive impact on individuals and their relationships with patients and colleagues.”1


Faye Gishen, Bimbi Fernando, Jonathan Cartledge, Daniel Swerdlow, Katherine Hopkins, Barbara Wren

Schwartz Center Rounds (SCR) originated in Boston, USA. The Royal Free Foundation NHS Trust was one of two original pilot sites in the UK to introduce SCR and has been running monthly rounds for 5 years. Schwartz Rounds were mentioned as valuable tools in the Francis report, which focuses on compassion and culture in healthcare.

Only one other medical school in the world has introduced dedicated rounds for students; this is a UK first. SCR are being introduced at UCLMS with the generous support of Health Education England and the Point of Care Foundation to expose medical students to a patient-focused intervention that has compassion and care as a central premise.

The first pilot round with year 5 medical students took place on 8th September 2014 at UCLMS. A multidisciplinary panel of senior and junior doctors and nurses, presented their stories of ‘A Patient I Will Never Forget’. Two trained facilitators then opened the confidential discussion to the year 5 medical students.

Using the electronic reporting system in the Cruciform building, data was collected from the first student participants. 260 students attended. Responses should that 80% would attend a Schwartz round again and 82% said they found the cases and discussion helpful. 80% said they had gained insight into how other HCP’s felt in caring for patients.  90% rated the Round as good/ excellent/ exceptional. A focus group held the following week, explored student responses further and allowed collection of qualitative data.

We anticipate that the SCR model will be extended into the penultimate and final year of the MBBS programme (years 5 and 6).

For more information go to pointofcarefoundation.org.uk

Dr Faye Gishen

Dr Deborah Gill


1 Goodrich, Joanna Supporting hospital staff to provide compassionate care: Do Schwartz Centre Rounds work in English hospitals? JR Soc Med 2012: 105:117-122



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