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Schwartz Rounds

Schwartz Rounds provide a valuable opportunity for all staff to reflect on their work through conversations facilitated by a local clinical lead and facilitator. They are unique in that unlike other supports for staff they do not seek to solve problems or look for outcomes. Through the sharing of stories in confidence, Schwartz Rounds provide a framework which has been proven to support staff well being, reduce psychological distress, reduce role hierarchy and improve team connection which ultimately improves person-centred care.

The National Quality and Patient Safety Directorate is working in collaboration with the Point of Care Foundation to establish Schwartz Rounds with organisations across Ireland.

What is a Schwartz Round?

Schwartz Rounds provide a structured forum where all staff, clinical and non-clinical, come together regularly to discuss the emotional and social aspects of working in healthcare.

The purpose of Rounds is to explore the challenges and rewards that are intrinsic to providing care, not to solve problems or to focus on the clinical aspects of patient care. Rounds can help staff feel more supported in their jobs, allowing them the time and space to reflect on their roles. Evidence shows that staff who attend Rounds feel less stressed and isolated, with increased insight and appreciation for each other’s roles. They also help to reduce hierarchies between staff and to focus attention on relational aspects of care.

The underlying premise for Rounds is that the compassion shown by staff can make all the difference to a patient’s experience of care, but that in order to provide compassionate care staff must, in turn, feel supported in their work.

How Schwartz Rounds are different

Find out the differences between Schwartz rounds and these other:

Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds help medical staff learn about recent developments in medicine and focus on the clinical details of a case.

Schwartz Rounds do not focus on the clinical aspects of patient care. Learning focuses on understanding staff experience from a social and emotional point of view.

Balint groups

Balint groups follow a similar format to Rounds in terms of their reflective nature. They focus on emotional impact, but they are only open to certain members of clinical staff.

Schwartz Rounds are open to all staff members. including non-clinical staff. In each Round, three or four stories are told. These stories are are used as a springboard for a wider discussion beyond the case itself.


Supervision involves expertise and advice. Is generally aimed at a specific staff group and focuses on technical aspects of care, clinical outcomes or personal development.

Schwartz Rounds are not designed as a form of peer supervision and do not fit the traditional model of clinical supervision.


Debriefing are usually structured meetings that aim to help staff following stressful or traumatic clinical events. They do it through education, normalising and support.

Schwartz Rounds should not be used as a form of debriefing. If there is a case that has been particularly troubling for staff and the organisation, a certain amount of time will need to pass before it is addressed in a Round.

The National Quality and Patient Safety Directorate endorses the work of the Point of Care Foundation in establishing Schwartz Rounds with organisations across Ireland.

If you are interested in setting up or re-establishing Schwartz Rounds in your organisation, we would encourage you to contact the Point of Care Foundation UK at

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