Supporting hospital staff to provide compassionate care: do Schwartz Center Rounds work in English hospitals?

J R Soc Med. 2012 Mar;105(3):117-22. doi: 10.1258/jrsm.2011.110183.


Objective: To assess (1) whether the Schwartz Center Rounds ("Rounds"), a multidisciplinary forum which brings together hospital staff to discuss the nonclinical, social and emotional aspects of caring for patients, could transfer from the US to a UK setting; and (2) whether UK Rounds would achieve a similar positive impact on individuals and teams, and hospital culture.

Design: The results reported are based on 41 qualitative interviews with context provided by additional quantitative research.

Setting: We introduced Rounds at two pilot sites, both NHS hospitals providing acute care.

Participants: Over the one-year, ten-Rounds pilot period, Rounds were attended by 1250 staff across the two sites. We conducted qualitative research into the experiences of staff involved in implementing Rounds at the outset and the end of the pilot.

Main outcome measures: Interviewees' assessment of the effects of Rounds on participants, their relationships with colleagues, and the wider hospital.

Results: The findings show that in the two pilot trusts, Rounds are perceived by participants as a source of support and that their benefit may translate into benefits for patients and team working; and that Rounds have the potential to effect change in the hospital culture.

Conclusion: Rounds appear to transfer successfully from the US to the UK, and there is some evidence that they are having a similarly positive impact, but more research is needed.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Emotions
  • Empathy*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Medical Staff, Hospital*
  • Organizational Culture
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Support
  • United Kingdom
  • United States