Schwartz Rounds

What are Schwartz Rounds?

A forum for staff and students from all health and social care professions to come together to discuss the emotional care aspects of their work and training.

Any number of attendees meet for an hour to hear experiences of practice incidents or episodes of care from a panel of usually 3-4 students and/or staff, share reflections on the emotional impact and give immediate feedback. Two trained facilitators co-ordinate the hour-long Round. Refreshments are always provided the half hour before the Round, to value participants and encourage open sharing. 

Schwartz Center Rounds began in the USA as a result of the experiences of Kenneth Schwartz after his diagnosis of terminal lung cancer, when “small acts of kindness made the unbearable bearable”.

The UK branch of the charity with whom we have a contract is the Point of Care Foundation.

Why is the University of Plymouth running Rounds?

Research shows that acknowledging the emotional aspects of providing care for others is helpful when done in a supportive and safe environment. We believe that the experience of Rounds will promote an attitude of reflective practice and help break down boundaries – setting the scene for future professional practice and lifelong learning. 

We started running Rounds at the University of Plymouth in January 2017, in the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences (FHHS) and the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. These health and social care professions have also been joined by Speech and Language Therapy from Plymouth Marjon University, and networks are also being created with the Plymouth Institute of Education and the School of Law. Five or six Rounds run each year at the University.

You are also encouraged to attend Schwartz Rounds which run in many of our local Trusts, including:

  • Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Devon Partnership NHS Trust
  • North Devon Healthcare Trust
  • Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
  • South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
  • Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
  • Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Watch a demonstration Schwartz Round at St Joseph's Hospice. Supported by The Point of Care Foundation.

Rounds held in 2018

Wednesday 28 February: 13:30–14:30 in Babbage 417, Drake Circus Campus. Topic: 'Being different, being the same'.

Wednesday 21 March: 12.45–13.45 in Babbage 411, Drake Circus Campus. Topic: 'Mental health in the workplace'.

Tuesday 15 May: 13:30–14:30 in SF 35, Peninsula Allied Health Centre (PAHC), Plymouth. Topic: 'Being thrown in at the deep end'.

Monday 4 June: 12.30–13:30 in Lecture Theatre, KSPA, Cornwall. Topic: 'Addressing the emotional realities of the job'.

Friday 30 November: 14:00–15:00 in Rolle 018, Drake Circus Campus. Topic: 'Diversity and difference in healthcare'.

Friday 30 November: 15:15–16:15 in Rolle 018, Drake Circus Campus. Topic: 'Diversity and difference in healthcare'.

Friday 14 December: Exeter Campus. Topic: 'In at the deep end/out of my depth'

Dates for 2019

Wednesday 20 March: 12:30–13:30, Room 101, Scott Building, Drake Circus Campus. Topic: 'The whole person'

Tuesday 18 June: 12:30–13:30, Room 115, Rolle Building, Drake Circus Campus. Topic: 'Learning from failure'

More dates to follow...

Who can attend?

  • All health and social care students and staff.
  • Other professions or programmes which may share a common interest in exploring the emotional and psycho-social aspects of working with people.
  • No booking needed – first come, first served.
  • Volunteer as a panelist or just come and share the experience as part of the audience.


“I really valued the openness and honesty of Schwartz panelists when sharing their stories. It made me reflect on my own placement experiences when I have felt silent/invisible due to/around other members of staff.”

“…It was powerful, heartfelt, and helps break through boundaries and barriers.”

“I wasn’t expecting to benefit as much as I did…I will return to my placement with more confidence that my feelings are normal and I’m not a fraud.”