Case Study: Starship Children’s Hospital
Auckland, New Zealand

Embedding the MMF Conflict Management Program

In February 2020, just weeks before the start of the pandemic, we spent two weeks at the Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, training 156 senior medical, nursing and allied professional staff in recognising and managing conflict. Ninety seven per cent rated the training as excellent and relevant to their work. We also worked with a number of different teams who wanted to learn more about how to use the Conflict Management Framework to help support staff and families within their specialities. Fourteen mediation “champions” emerged from within these teams to help embed the training and the conflict management approach.

Dr Louise Webster, the Clinical Director in Starship who commissioned the training said: “The response from staff has been overwhelmingly positive and staff returning to their wards are finding that they now have the skills to engage collaboratively with families and find a way forward when conflict arises.”

We have continued to work virtually with the Starship team , meeting them once a month for supervision and discussion of conflict cases. We have also taught the champions group to deliver our training in-house.  

In a recent presentation to children’s hospitals across Australasia, Dr Webster reported that they had seen “a marked reduction in ‘unresolvable’ conflict situations in wards and teams where the majority of senior staff have done the training. Having a champions group is essential in embedding the training.”
Boldly going… Introducing conflict management training to Starship Children's Hospital.   Fiona Miles, Sarah Barclay, Esse Menson, Tony Shepherd, Louise Webster  Journal of Paediatrics and Child HealthVolume 59, Issue 3 p. 424-426 (free access)