A Strategic Approach to Conflict Resolution in the NHS

Following the success of the Healthcare People Management Association (HPMA) event with our client Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, we were delighted to be invited back to run another mediation and conflict management event this month.

We partnered with University College Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) to showcase the Trust’s strategic approach to informal conflict resolution. The event was fully booked, which shows the importance and relevance of this topic.

The starting point of the event was to explore the benefits of an informal conflict management approach to create a shift in how UCLH employees view and deal with workplace conflict. Many other organisations train mediators or use workplace mediation on an ad hoc basis, but unlike UCLH, they don’t invest in embedding more fundamental ways of changing their culture.

UCLH’s model is multi-faceted and far-reaching, and the HPMA session featured presentations from Consensio and four key members of UCLH staff, including staff involved in the process of embedding informal conflict management at the Trust.

The Trust has a very active internal mediation service. In addition to this, they are working in partnership with other organisations to devise a number of different ways to nip conflict in the bud. For example, Consensio has delivered training to UCLH’s managers in how to facilitate conflict conversations so that issues are resolved within teams before the need for mediation arises. One of UCLH’s managers spoke about her experience of attending our training and how she is using the skills in practice.

The speakers discussed what has worked well at UCLH, as well as some of the challenges they have encountered. Delegates came away from the session with a lot of new learning and ideas on how they can implement a more strategic approach to conflict management within their own organisations.

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