Managing Conflict in the Healthcare Setting

The workshop enables staff to:

  • Expand your self-awareness, and recognise your own reaction to anger and aggression.
  • Share your own experiences of conflict, what led to the situation, what existing skills were used to diffuse the situation, and what was the outcome?
  • Explore styles of conflict resolution-balancing concern for yourself with concern for others.
  • Remain safe-recognise the importance of situational awareness, considering practical and environmental considerations in conflict management.
  • Develop specific techniques to manage conflict, using key phrases, verbal techniques, active listening and effective body language.
  • Recognise the skills and limitations of other team members in conflict resolution. When does a conflict situation become a de-escalation situation? When should I call for help.
  • Develop a SMART action plan-how can I develop my conflict resolution skills further?

You will have the opportunity to practice your conflict management and de-escalation skills in a facilitated, scenario-based workshop. The scenarios can be based upon common problems that occur in the health care setting. Alternatively, the scenarios can be of your own choosing, the trainer will contact you prior to the workshop to discuss this in detail.

Alternatives to No – avoiding standoffs

Patients bring a variety of expectations to the surgery, clinic or hospital – some of which are not realistic. Responding to unrealistic expectations can be frustrating at best and a source of conflict with patients at worst. Receptionists, ward and clinic clerks are on the front line – how we respond to the patient has a big effect on the experience for patients, for our own stress levels and ultimately for our professional satisfaction.

What, then, are we to do? In fact, research shows that there are some successful strategies that we can employ. You will be able to compare your own experiences with those of colleagues. The trainer will introduce some frameworks to help you to look at and manage these situations.

The group will process this with facilitated discussion. Since we also know that effective learner change in communication behaviour has only been demonstrated by training that takes a skills-based approach, this is an important part of the training – incorporating practice, observation, feedback and further rehearsal.

A series of exercises allows you to examine some of the important messages, moving to rehearsal of the specific skill areas that will be the most useful in practice, after the training.

Complaint Handling

It is vital for the success of the in-house complaints procedure that all staff are aware of the Practice procedure and of their role within it. Sensitive handling of a complaint at its earliest stage may prevent a small concern becoming more major.

GP Practices must have in place a complaints procedure that informs patients of ways in which their views can be heard. This should include information on how the complaints procedure works and also how patients can give positive or constructive feedback.

Every practice must appoint a ‘responsible person’ whose job is to ensure compliance with the current complaints’ regulations

The focus of our training is on the need for professionalism when dealing with complaints. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman says is an area some practices need to improve.

Professionalism is also driven by attitude – it’s absolutely vital that all practice staff have the right attitude when it comes to complaint handling. And sometimes that means overcoming natural human instincts. Sometimes people immediately go on the defensive when challenged – especially if they feel they’re being blamed – which can lead to an aggressive, unprofessional response. Others retreat into their shells or try to ‘bury’ complaints.

Ultimately, what’s required is a measured, considered response where staff calmly respond to complaints in a factual, non-aggressive but not overly informal tone.
Simple, clear and meaningful communication is vital to any good complaint handling.

Refreshments and lunch are provided.