This month, Princess Alice Hospice celebrated ten successful years of running Schwartz Rounds for colleagues and volunteers. Schwartz Rounds provide a structured forum where all colleagues and volunteers in clinical and non-clinical roles come together for one hour each month to share and reflect on the emotional and social impacts of working in healthcare, all within a safe and confidential space.
The origins of Schwartz Rounds date back to 1994, when health attorney, Ken Schwartz, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. During his treatment, he found that what mattered to him most as a patient were the simple acts of kindness from his caregivers, which he said made ‘the unbearable bearable’.
Before his death, he left a legacy for the Schwartz Center in Boston, USA, to help to foster compassion in healthcare.
Schwartz Rounds were introduced to the UK in 2009 and Princess Alice Hospice held its first one in 2013. Since then, they have become a much-loved and highly valued monthly fixture. Last year, the Hospice presented a poster at the Hospice UK Conference, about adapting the format of the Rounds to run online, via Zoom; feedback showed that some attendees preferred sharing their experiences from the comfort of their own home, which was an unexpectedly positive outcome and a format that has been continued at the Hospice every other month.
The latest Round was titled ‘Thank you’ and allowed speakers to reflect and share stories from their different experiences. Afterwards, attendees were invited by the Hospice’s Schwartz Steering Group to stay for tea and cake to celebrate.
Compassion is one of the Hospice’s ‘I-CARE’ organisational values and Schwartz Rounds are a powerful way for colleagues to live that value in the workplace.
We look forward to the next 10 successful years of Schwartz Rounds at Princess Alice Hospice.
Princess Alice Hospice: For Compassion. For Excellence. For People. For Living.
Princess Alice Hospice has, for more than 35 years, provided free, high-quality, specialist end of life care to tens of thousands of people across a large part of Surrey, south west London and Middlesex.
Today, at any one time, Hospice nurses, doctors and other specialist staff are looking after more than 900 people in need. The Hospice’s mission is to reach out to even more people by delivering outstanding care to those that need it. To enable us to do this, we must rely on the commitment and support of our communities who help us to raise vital funds.
£10.1 million is needed each year to provide our vital services. With limited NHS funding provided by CCGs, which represents circa 24% of our expenditure on charitable activities, in more normal times, the balance is raised through legacies, fundraising, dedicated shop units and investments. It is only the generous support of our communities and beyond, that makes it possible to do our work.
YalleyOgunro-PAH-2021 – poster of Schwartz rounds presented at hospiceUK conference.