23 May 2016
Negotiation in the NHS - Being Healthier
by Andrew Fiddy
In the past several years, CEDR have been collaborating with both primary and secondary care NHS services to realise the potential of healthcare workers to collaborate, engage and inspire others and to manage conflict when it arises. The NHS offers healthcare to over 64 million residents and employs more than 1.6 million people. With an operating budget of £115.4 billion it operates on the principle that healthcare is free at the point of use for anyone who is a UK resident. The NHS does so in the context of public sector efficiency challenges; surging demand; and rapid changes in science and technology. There is also evidence of the rise of the knowledgeable health care consumer and increase expectations around quality, transparency and enhanced patient experience (Deloitte, 2015). To address these challenges and to raise patient and staff experiences, the NHS and healthcare associations have recognised that their staff require the knowledge and skills of negotiation. Specifically, the need of medical and non-medical staff to recognise and respond appropriately to situations where there is a conflict or confrontation between two or more parties; communicate effectively with service users; and address multi-party conflicts. A couple of individual case studies are outlined below.
Over the past two years, CEDR has been collaborating with an organisation associated with General Practice (GPs) to upskill medical doctors in the skills necessary to develop healthy working relationships within their practices and the broader London primary care network to raise standards of patient care and to support surgeries to negotiate and seek agreement at local and pan-London levels. Over a series of 15 interventions over 200 GPs and medical directors were coached by CEDR consultants in a variety of negotiation, chairing and leadership skills through a variety of techniques to stimulate behavioural change. 98% of attendees have rated the skills training as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ and are utilising their skills to assist to future-proof of the NHS.
National Health Service Litigation Authority
Senior managers of the NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA) had identified the need to improve the skills of their lawyers on how to work with patients, families and NHS staff to resolve claims where allegations had been made concerning below standard NHS care. CEDR was invited to assist the NHS LA in delivering a series of negotiation skills training courses. The first two days of the course, for all staff, focused on general negotiation skills; the second course was designed for team leaders which enabled them to assist existing team members to embed the skills that were taught on the course; and the third course was designed for team managers that focused on negotiation coaching. The latter courses enabled those individuals with responsibility for the service to provide specific situational coaching in difficult negotiations. This framework Cumulatively, 91% of participants rated the course as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’.
Number of professional from various NHS trusts have called upon CEDR to provide negotiation training. They have attended and obtained the Certificate in Advanced Negotiation (CAN) in order to improve their ability to communicate effectively with patients and clients, as well as their deal-making skills.
Following the success of utilising the skills of alternative dispute resolution, the NHS LA further partnered with CEDR to pilot a mediation scheme for all claims involving fatality (infant or elderly) or the care of the elderly: www.cedr.com/skills/consultancy/?r=36
Our mediators have also been working on deal-mediation within the NHS, with the objective to facilitate the contract negotiations between NHS commissioners and providers, while maintaining high level of healthcare. Graham Massie speaks of his experience in his latest blog: www.cedr.com/blog/deal-mediation/
Recently, the Independent Healthcare Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS) has decided on the CEDR as the organisation best suited to provide operational services under contract. It was responding to the requests of ISCAS Members from across the independent healthcare sector, and to the trade association - Association of Independent Healthcare Organisations (AIHO) representing private hospital operators, for the ISCAS service to be demonstrably separate from the influence of AIHO. www.cedr.com/news/?item=Independent-healthcare-Sector-Complaints-Adjudication-Service-choses-CEDR