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The NHS (National Health Service), founded in 1948, is the UK health service. It provides quality healthcare that is free at point of use. Employing 1.5 million staff, the NHS sees 1 million patients every 36 hours, and has an annual budget of £116 billion.


Business Need

In recent years, there have been a number of staffing problems at the NHS:

  • Refusal to guarantee rights of NHS staff led to record vacancies
  • Hospital CEOs encouraged (bullied) to sign up to cost control measures
  • 50% of Junior Doctors refused to go straight into specialist training, leading to gaps in specialities (e.g. paediatrics)
  • 40,000 nursing vacancies

NHS Doctor looking at an X-Ray


There have also been many issues causing conflict in the NHS:

  • 34,000 people killed due to human error
  • 1/10 acute care patients killed/injured due to medical error or mistakes
  • Mistakes and conflict are often linked
  • Potential NHS shortfall by 2020/2021 of £30bn
  • Enhancing quality and reducing costs led to increased levels of conflict


A cost-effective method of alternative dispute resolution was required.


Lumina Learning Solution


Lumina Spark Logo


Basic mediation implementation:

  1. Speak to those involved in the conflict by phone for half an hour to an hour to see what the issue is and what outcome they want to achieve.
  2. One-day session bringing individuals together with a medical director or clinical lead to get them to talk and put the issue on the table.
  3. At the end of the discussion, look at the ‘so what?’ – what do they see as an outcome and how can they work together to get those conclusions?
  4. Conclusions written up into a one-page document to refer back to.
  5. Follow-up session to mediate on project moving forward.


Where Lumina Spark comes in:

  • Individuals involved in conflict complete the Lumina Spark questionnaire.
  • Lumina Spark Portraits are examined to see where individuals’ differences arise that might be causing conflict. This helps those involved understand themselves and their response to the issue and also understand why their colleagues are responding differently to the issue.
  • There is a large focus on Overextended personas as NHS staff are often in a highly pressurised environment. This helps shine a light on where difficulties arise when individuals are stressed, leading to conflict.


NHS Building



Mediation using Lumina Spark has helped to resolve an eight-year ongoing conflict in a single day.


“The NHS is under a significant amount of pressure. Lumina Spark allows you to be a little bit more forgiving with people, with colleagues, to understand that they are entering into their Overextended persona. It helps you to look out for each other a little bit more. And it allows you to develop alternative strategies that help you cope if you are under pressure.” – Dr Neil Pease, Executive Director of Workforce & Organisational Development, University Hospitals of Derby and Burton


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Lumina Learning is a global network of skilled experts and Practitioners operating in more than 40 countries all over the world.