Background Hospice staff encounter distress, physical and psychological pain every day (Pauly, Varcoe, Storch, 2012). Schwartz Centre Rounds (SCR) promote compassionate care and its link to patient experience (Point of Care Foundation). But who cares for the carer? SCR provide space for reflection, and shared experiences (Cullen, 2012) and during COVID-19 this is more vital than ever (Newcomb, 2021); our hospice Schwartz Steering Group was keen to continue SCR online to support colleagues. ‘Reflection helps manage our responses and lives can be enhanced by cultivating compassion in our practice’ (Sansó, Galiana, Oliver et al., 2015).
Launch and sustain virtual monthly SCR for staff/volunteers to reflect and connect.
Obtain feedback on virtual format through survey.
Identify future SCR topics.
Help decision making with SCR future facilitation.
Steering group identified members confident in video-conferencing, producing supporting guidance for members.
Discussion topics identified through feedback.
Staff/volunteer speakers approached by steering group member; subsequent briefing discussion and format explanation.
Brief online survey emailed to participants.
Results 36 members of staff responded to the survey: 55% clinical, 45% non-clinical staff. What participants like about Schwartz:
Sense of community/connection.
Understanding others’ roles.
Aiding own reflection.
Learning from others’ views.
19 answered ‘what could be done differently?’ Ten people (from the total of 19) responded to say that they didn’t think anything could be done differently. Themes identified were:
Varying date/time to accommodate different working patterns.
Taking advance questions.
Return to physical meetings for easier interaction, especially before session.
Some commented how well an online platform worked, making it accessible to participants offsite. Ideas for future topics: understanding roles; COVID-19’s impact; coping with stress.
Conclusion Online SCR transition was largely positively received. Overarching aim to allow people space to reflect, discuss challenging clinical scenarios and receive support. Despite anxiety about ability to connect emotionally remotely, the feedback showed sense of community and non-judgemental space for reflection was not compromised in a potentially isolating time. We aim to alternate face-to-face and remote SCR to improve access for staff/volunteers.
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