On Tuesday, Consensio had the pleasure of delivering a third seminar to members of the HPMA. This time, we delivered it with our client Karl Cockerill, mediation coordinator at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. The seminar was attended by HR professionals from various Trusts and health charities.
Consensio helped ELHT set up its internal mediation service over a decade ago, when the Trust was still a PCT. At the time, we trained 12 accredited workplace mediators from across the Trust, including Karl, who was a Union Rep at the time. Since then, 24 more mediators have attended our accredited mediation certificate course and the service, which used to sit in HR, now sits in Occupational Health.
The Trust was used as a case study to showcase where a strategic approach to conflict management is being successfully embedded. Karl’s story, and that of the Trust, is fascinating. Karl, who used to be labelled as a “grievance king”, became a mediation convert after attending our course. As mediation coordinator, Karl has been involved in over 100 mediations. Most of the mediations have ended successfully, which has hugely decreased the cases of sickness absence at the Trust, as well as significantly reduced the cases that have to go down a formal process route. The ELHT mediation service is one of the most established mediation services in any organisation in the UK.
There are various reasons why the Trust has been so successful in embedding its internal mediation service, and key to this has been the dedicated role of mediation coordinator, buy-in from the top and union involvement. Audience members left the seminar with lots of food for thought and new ideas on how to make mediation a success at their organisations.