Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy

Implementing Schwartz Centre Rounds® in community and mental health services: How can processes of group reflection support health and social care staff?


Principal Investigator: Joe Devine

Research Team: Michelle Farr

Funder: Point of Care Foundation 

Duration: 1 May 2014 - 30 April 2015


Project rationale and aims

Departmental theme

Institute for Policy Research themes

The Francis Inquiry (2013) into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust has provoked calls for the organisational culture of the NHS to become focussed on ‘improving care and putting patients' needs first’ rather than ‘meeting externally imposed standards and targets’ (Kings Fund 2013). The Point of Care Foundation has been set up recently in the light of these issues, extending from work done within the King’s Fund by the Point of Care programme, to “improve patients' experience of care and increase support for the staff who work with them” (Point of Care 2013). One of the mechanisms that they are promoting to support staff, which this research will focus on, are Schwartz Rounds®.

Useful websites

The key research question that the action research will set out to answer is the following:

  • How are Schwartz Rounds implemented in mental health, community and social care services? Do these contexts affect the model and process of Schwartz Rounds, and if so, how?

Within this overarching research question, several operational questions will also be tackled:

  • What are the aims, objectives and motivations of staff in the implementation and process of setting up and attending Schwartz Rounds?
  • What are the collective interests and common concerns of staff in non-acute settings that bring people together to reflect on the emotional and social aspects of care?
  • How do Schwartz Rounds get implemented in practice and what are the different models that are developed through the implementation process?

Find out more about this project

Project outputs and impact

The research project will produce a number of outputs including:

  • Recommendations and materials to offer support and guidance in implementing Schwartz Rounds in non-acute settings
  • Ongoing reflective support for participants implementing Schwartz Rounds with the possibility of a learning workshop
  • A report for the Department of Health and the Point of Care Foundation
  • Academic outputs will include co-authoring a paper for a peer review journal and co-presenting at relevant conferences.