National Health Service Mediation
CEDR has been appointed by the NHS Resolution as one of three dispute resolution bodies who will to provide independent mediation services to the NHS. This follows a successful pilot operated by CEDR in 2014/15 that proved the concept of mediation being an effective way of resolving disputes between patients and the NHS.
What is mediation?
Mediation is an unbiased, voluntary and confidential process. It can be a quicker, more flexible, less stressful and a more effective way of resolving problems or disagreements than through formal court processes.
Mediators are trained, independent neutrals who actively assist all sides to work towards a mutually acceptable agreement.
About 75% of mediations result in a resolution, the majority of them in one day (or about 8 hours, where a series of short meetings is held instead).
What happens in mediation?
- Relevant information is shared by each party and the mediator beforehand. This can be in person or, if this is not practicable, on the telephone.
- In the mediation, all sides will meet for confidential discussions, both separately with the mediator and, by agreement, face-to-face with each other.
- Information shared with the mediator by each party is confidential and only disclosed to the other party by prior agreement.
- Once a way forward has been reached, a written, binding agreement is drawn up immediately and its implementation planned.
- The mediator facilitates the process, but the people taking part are responsible for the outcome.
You can also read the Mediation Procedure which explains how the mediation will work.
When can mediation be applied?
Mediation can be used in many situations or disputes which people want to resolve quickly and still stay in control of the outcome. Using mediation still leaves all parties with their legal rights intact, including the right to revert to the formal grievance procedure.
The process is impartial
The mediator’s role is not to take sides but to help find agreement. A mediator will often help a party test the strength of a case in private and may suggest how a proposed solution might be received by another. Both parties however need to trust the mediator to stay neutral and mediators are careful to avoid taking sides or even give that appearance.
Once parties decide to try mediation, CEDR will liaise with them individually, answer any queries and make sure that appropriate arrangements are made.
The benefits of mediation
- Greater chance of making an acceptable agreement
- Arranged quickly
- Reduces time spent in formal proceedings
- Private and confidential
- Focuses on the problem
- Outcome stays within each side’s control
Can I be sure it will work?
If everyone joins in the discussion about making an agreement, mediation has a good prospect of working. An agreement can be produced in writing, which if each party to the mediation signs becomes a contract.
Even if agreement is not reached on the day, it is not unusual for the matter to be settled shortly afterwards – once everyone has reflected on what they have heard.
Mediation can also be used to prevent disputes arising, for example by enabling controversial proposals to be explained before people have taken up unfavourable positions.
Mediation will be provided by CEDR. Mediators are drawn from a range of backgrounds and are all CEDR Accredited. CEDR will allocate mediators according to their suitability for each case.
- Baria Ahmed
- Heather Allen
- Tony Allen
- Stephanie Bown
- Stephen Bate
- Jo Cavell
- Gillian Caroe
- Fiona Colquhoun
- Mair Coombes Davies
- Jeremy Connell
- Dorcas Crawford
- Deborah David
- Lisa Drake
- Charles Feeny
- Tracey Fox
- Neil Goodrum
- Ranse Howell
- Alan Jacobs
- Isabel Phillips
- John Quilter
- Jason Reeves
- Chula Ruspasinha
- Susanne Schuler
- Richard Schaverien
- Kevin Smyth
- Beverley Vara
- Caroline Sheridan
What else can I consider for the mediation?
Many people choose to have a lawyer attend the mediation with them. The lawyer will be there to look after your legal right. It is not obligatory however and we have some advice for those who choose not to have a lawyer attend.