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When facilitation could turn into mediation

 

Blog headlines

  • ‘There is nothing so practical as a good theory’
    16 September 2021

    The Networks blog this week comes from the Staff College: Leadership in Healthcare (Staff College) is a national charity dedicated to promoting great leadership for the public good.

  • Reflections on a ‘new’ NHS and its impact on general practice
    10 September 2021

    This week’s blog we are sharing reflections by William Greenwood on the direction for the health service and potential impact on general practice.

  • When facilitation could turn into mediation
    3 September 2021

    Requests to attend a meeting, to help find a way forward, to help with planning, to redesign a care pathway, and numerous other reasons are not always what they seem. Sometimes you will be asked to facilitate, or just asked to attend. What then happens in the room may not be the meeting that you are expecting. Other situations, such as tensions between practices, departments or teams may give a more obvious sign that what is needed goes beyond just attending or facilitating a little.

  • Population Health Management?
    26 August 2021

    One of the frequently heard phrases of the moment is population health management – but what is it and does it work. The blog is from a longer article by Monica Duncan exploring the topic.

  • The future must be primary care
    19 August 2021

    The blog this week is by Professor David Colin-Thomé, chair of PCC.

  • Preparing for winter 2021/22
    13 August 2021

    One of the hottest days of the year saw people from practices, primary care networks (PCNs) and federations gather to start to think creatively about managing their winter pressures in this session hosted by PCC and the NHS Confederation PCN Network.

  • Building the collaboration
    5 August 2021

    Prior to COVID-19 primary care network (PCN) community pharmacy leads (representing a group of pharmacy contractors in their locality) were starting to contact the clinical director for their allocated PCN to discuss how pharmacy services could develop and adapt to help address community health needs.

  • Audit into action… with a pandemic thrown into the mix!
    29 July 2021

    A blog from the Clinical Leads for the National Audit of Care at the End of Life (NACEL).

  • GP partnership uses new video to highlight benefits of its merger-led transformation
    23 July 2021

    An East Cheshire-based GP practice, the Middlewood Partnership, which formally merged in order to successfully transform its clinical and business models, is sharing insights, via a new video, with colleagues across the health and social care sector.

  • Early evaluation of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Trailblazer
    15 July 2021

    The Birmingham, RAND and Cambridge Evaluation Centre (BRACE) is funded by the National Institute for Health Research to conduct rapid evaluation of promising new services and innovations in health and social care. The BRACE Rapid Evaluation Centre and Policy Innovation and Evaluation Research Unit have published findings from the early evaluation of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Trailblazer programme.

  • Learn from reflection
    8 July 2021

    We are sharing an article by Helen Northall, chief executive, PCC this week on learning from reflection.

  • Link of the week: National Thank You Day
    1 July 2021

    This week we are featuring National Thank You Day.

  • North East Essex integrated discharge single point of access - implementing the Coronavirus Act 2020 and Covid-19 hospital discharge service requirements
    24 June 2021

    The blog this week is from Frank Sims, chief executive of Anglian Community Enterprise and shares learning on collaboration and redesign to support hospital discharge.

  • Helping your patients making an informed choice: Medical or Surgical abortion?
    17 June 2021

    This week the blog has been submitted by MSI Reproductive Choices UK and is about supporting patients to make an informed choice based on NICE guidance.

  • The potential for case finding patients with cardiovascular disease in a dental setting
    10 June 2021

    The blog this week is by Wendy Crew, PCC adviser, considering the opportunity to case find patients with cardiovascular disease in a dental setting.

  • Using population health data to inform ARRS recruitment
    3 June 2021

    Funding for the additional role reimbursement scheme (ARRS) has increased nationally from £430m (2020-21) to £746m max. (2021-22) with an allocation available for each primary care network (PCN) depending on the size of the population it covers. Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) draw down the funds but only as new roles are recruited within PCNs. PCNs are therefore being strongly encouraged to make use of their ARRS allocation to ensure people in their neighbourhoods benefit from the funding available.

  • SHAPE Atlas mapping tool
    27 May 2021

    As the themes of the NHS Long Term Plan start to become reality through plans for legislation to support integration, we need to work out where the best place is to deliver services.

  • Cancer Care Map
    20 May 2021

    The blog this week has been submitted by Robin Pritchard, co-director of Cancer Care Map. Cancer Care Map is a stand-alone, comprehensive, independent, free to use online directory of cancer support services in the UK providing verified and trusted information, regularly checked and updated and accessible to all.

  • Understanding and aligning link worker and community capacity building activity: A place-based approach in York and Wakefield
    13 May 2021

    The blog this week is by Sian Lockwood, chief executive officer of Community Catalysts.

  • Virtual group consultations and Why skip/send it to landfill?
    6 May 2021

    An article on group consultations that celebrates the patient perspective and experiences of receiving care this way from Alison Manson. Blog on reusing/recycling and saving money for a NHS Trust from Alex Ford.

 
 
Friday, 3 September 2021

When facilitation could turn into mediation

Requests to attend a meeting, to help find a way forward, to help with planning, to redesign a care pathway, and numerous other reasons are not always what they seem. Sometimes you will be asked to facilitate, or just asked to attend. What then happens in the room may not be the meeting that you are expecting. Other situations, such as tensions between practices, departments or teams may give a more obvious sign that what is needed goes beyond just attending or facilitating a little.

It’s important to think about how you can manage the situation to shift what might be an awkward situation to get the parties trusting you and your ability to facilitate (or probably mediate). To get the best solution you need to make a shift so that those in the room feel psychologically safe, and there is a clear and communicated purpose.

  1. If asked to attend a meeting, try to find out a little more, for instance ask why you been invited, what does the person inviting you believe your contribution will be, what is the anticipated outcome of the meeting, and who else will be attending
  2. If you have been asked to facilitate, or help the meeting along, then you might want to dig a little deeper – what have the discussions previously covered, what difference do they think a facilitator will make and is there agreement between parties? It is sometimes worth contacting people who will be attending prior to the meeting and asking each what their ideal outcome will be and what their concerns are. This often starts to uncover if there is a shared purpose or not. Identifying each persons’ desired outcome is a good starting point which is often missed in prior discussions especially if one party has a particular idea.
  3. Plan – consider things like what information could be provided prior to the meeting and by whom and does this need to be managed in a “neutral” way. If you are asked to facilitate it may be appropriate to share what the ideal outcome of each party is prior to the meeting – so others can consider this and come prepared. Worked up plans circulated by one party can feel like a surprise and can set the session off on the wrong foot. Co-producing a way forward during the session towards a shared vision may help progress. You might also want to consider where you will meet, so everyone feels comfortable, and think about who should be present to prevent a risk of numbers or seniority from one party outweighing the other
  4. If you are facilitating, you’ll need to start with ground rules and outline your goal for the process – listening is an essential ground rule and letting others speak and finish their points. You may need to manage this so that both parties have equal airtime.
  5. It is often helpful at the beginning of a session to let each party have a given amount of time to present their ideas, what they want from the meeting, and their future vision. Letting each party have time without interruption, and asking them, if there is a disagreement or dispute, how it makes them feel helps to shift the meeting to a position of openness and honesty.
  6. Facilitate a joint discussion, focussing on asking questions to gain a better understanding of each party’s needs and concerns rather than giving a solution at this stage.
  7. Work through how the needs and concerns can best be addressed and form a shared vision for the future that all parties can sign up to. Summarise agreements and identify if there are still needs or concerns that haven’t been addressed. Depending on the level of agreement, and timing of the session this would be a good time to take a break. This gives you time to just check each party is ok with the direction and with what’s being agreed, or if deep down they are not signing up to the solution. If you are meeting virtually, then use break out rooms to check sign up to the direction being discussed.
  8. Negotiate – is everyone agreed or use negotiation to prompt further proposals that meet each party’s core interests. Sometimes it isn’t possible to agree, and there is a deal breaking need or concern that hasn’t been addressed. If this is the case and it cannot be resolved it is better to identify this openly and pause, rather than to agree a way forward only for it to unravel later.
  9. Plan – if there is agreement, now is the time to jointly plan, with more detail, a way forward.
  10. Sum-up – outline the agreements reached, or next steps if there isn’t agreement. Ask the parties what their next steps will be, by when, either to implement the plan, or to progress the issue without agreement and ensure named people take responsibility for the actions agreed.

When facilitating or mediating sessions, you’ll find that successful outcomes can be increased if you have clarity on what you are going into, a good understanding of each party’s needs and concerns, and if the participants can be open and honest about what the deal breaking issues are. Creating a shared vision that all parties can sign up to for the future is vital. With this groundwork you maximise the chances of gaining agreement.

PCC provides facilitation support contact .