Last year seems all but a distant memory as 2020 continues at a rapid pace, so in our latest blog we look to this year as the year where mediation may well be more important than ever.
Mediation has become an increasingly popular method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that is gaining traction within healthcare regulation and wider society. Indeed, last year the Government sought to understand how mediation could assist in resolving disputes in its white paper: ‘Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation’. The official response was:
6.23 The UK and Devolved Governments agree that dispute resolution or mediation could help resolve cases at an earlier stage where a full fitness to practise investigation is not required. 6.24. We will introduce changes that will enable the regulatory bodies to include mediation as part of their fitness to practise processes if they wish.
Such a move towards mediation that would be separate from cases relating to fitness to practise (FtP) could be a positive step for healthcare regulators. The move towards mediation over litigation could be seen as an advantageous one as mediation offers much more than litigation.
Litigation may be seen as an almost adversarial approach to resolving conflict, whilst mediation is a much more balanced approach that seeks the participation of both parties with the goal of working towards a mutually beneficial outcome.
What’s more, mediation also offers for the chance to learn from past mistakes or errors in order to better the service offered and avoid such instances in the future. The chance to learn further allows the practice to enhance its protection without a long and costly court case that can bring the reputation of the practice into further dispute.
As we enter 2020, the question therefore arises: is mediation here to stay?
From our own experiences and the movements within government and wider society, we say yes. Mediation allows for communication, the establishment of trust and, of course, working towards an agreeable outcome for both parties. In the trying times we face, the positive effect of mediation over litigation is surely a welcome one.
For more information on how the OCCS may be able to help you, please contact our team on 0344 800 5071 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.