The Power of Stories: HSE Schwartz Rounds generate a sense of community, improving teamwork and personal practice

HSE Media Release: 18 February 2020

The HSE today (Tuesday, 18th February 2020), in collaboration with the Point of Care Foundation, marked four years since the introduction of Schwartz Rounds in Ireland at its second All Ireland Schwartz Rounds and Quality Improvement (QI) Conference in Dublin Castle. Since the process began, 25 organisations have signed a service level agreement with the Point of Care Foundation, helping to improve staff wellbeing and teamwork. 

Schwartz Rounds provide a forum for conversations about the emotional impact of work and is open to all staff within an organisation. During the monthly, one-hour meetings staff can share their experiences that can improve relationships with colleagues and gain insight into how others care for patients.

Tyrone Horne, who works as a Children's Outreach Nurse at Cork University University recalls:

“I remember a consultant turning to a porter at one session and saying, ‘I never knew you did things like that.’ It’s a great opportunity to share experiences that can have such a positive and powerful experience.  We can have some very stimulating conversations and every round seems to get better and better.” 

The conference makes the connection between Schwartz Rounds and Quality Improvement (QI). It will help people to communicate, connect, collaborate and network to further Schwartz Rounds and QI development and learning. The conference, a collaboration between the HSE National QI Team and the HSC QI (Health and Social Care QI team) in Northern Ireland, brought people across the island together to share experiences.  Building on the concept of shared learning, the HSE also announced the country partnership with Q – an ambitious, long-term initiative that brings together people working to improve health and care. It is led by the Health Foundation and supported by partners across the UK and Ireland.

Q is not a taught programme, but a network for people with experience of delivering improvement. By creating opportunities for people to share ideas, enhance skills, and collaborate, Q supports members to use and develop the wealth of ideas and expertise that currently exists in every part of the UK and Ireland. Applications to join the Q community will be open to people in Ireland from the 1st May 2020.

Dr Philip Crowley, HSE National Director, National QI Team said:

“The conference marks a further deepening of the National QI Team’s collaboration with the Health and Social Care QI team in Northern Ireland.  We share learning north and south and this represents the 5th joint event focusing on how we improve the quality of patient care across the Island. We are also celebrating four years of developing Schwartz Rounds in Ireland.  These have been evaluated very positively and help staff share their experiences of working in our health services.”

Dr Mark Roberts, Clinical Director, Improvement Hub for HSCQI added:

“This conference is part of HSCQI’s ongoing collaboration with the HSE’s National Quality Improvement team. This relationship is mutually beneficial and we are learning a lot from each other. It is great that colleagues from the HSCQI network are sharing their innovative QI work at the Dublin conference, which provides another opportunity for connecting people with common goals. We are all focused on providing safe and effective care for those who need our health and social care services and we all face similar challenges in doing so. It makes good sense for us to continue to build this relationship and develop our QI learning and expertise.”

Penny Pereira, Q Initiative Director said:

“I’m delighted that we’re working with the HSE to launch Q in Ireland. Since Q began we have been working with Q members and partners to create a cross-sector, cross-profession, pan-country infrastructure for learning and collaboration. Launching in Ireland further demonstrates our commitment to growing the community and supporting members to connect across boundaries. The experience and expertise of improvers in Ireland will be a fantastic addition to the community.”


Last updated on: 19 / 02 / 2020