Mediation Plus - the community mediation service for Eastbourne and Wealden - has welcomed the results of a new survey of NHS Trusts across the country has shown that mediation is gaining in both popularity and credibility within the healthcare sector.
Of the 133 Trusts which responded to the survey conducted by the TCM Group, 83% are already using mediation to resolve workplace disputes, with 87% of those reporting a significant reduction in the number of grievances. Some 43% of Trusts reported a fall in the number of employment tribunals they had to defend, a statistic they attribute directly to the introduction of a mediation scheme.
Evidence from the survey suggests that that NHS Trusts are using mediation to secure positive outcomes within an increasingly complex and challenging range of conflicts and change processes. Trusts reported that they were using mediation to resolve disputes between colleagues, as well as managing conflict between healthcare professionals, patients and their families.
Disputes within the NHS, like so many other sectors, are damaging, destructive and a significant distraction at times of major change and transformation. With such negative impacts, it seems that many Trusts feel that enough is enough and are turning to mediation as an exciting alternative which it seems is delivering significant benefits. The outcomes being reported from mediation are impressive and NHS staff are seeing that mediation can produce very creative solutions to systemic problems by engaging everyone.
Mediation Plus Service Manager Clive Gross said “The results of this survey demonstrates that using mediation can result in less time is being spent dealing with grievances and litigation, resulting in reduced costs on tribunal hearings and reduced stress on all parties involved. Finding solutions that everyone agrees to and are not imposed from above leads to increased levels of wellbeing and productivity, which are major benefits to the NHS or any organisation looking to resolve disputes in a non-confrontational way.”
Mediation Plus offers both workplace mediation to local organisations and businesses, and accredited mediation skills training to managers and other employees who have to deal with the public or handle complaints. This includes other areas of the healthcare sector including providers of care and nursing homes.
Gill Bellord, Head of employee relations at NHS Employers is particularly enthusiastic about the role of mediation. “NHS Employers support the increased use of mediation in the NHS as an effective means of resolving complaints, managing change and handling workplace disputes. There are benefits in terms of outcomes, maintaining on-going relationships and value for money.”
For more information about the mediation services and training available locally, call Mediation Plus on 01323 442781 or visit our main website.