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Fifteen-minute consultation: Time Out as an alternative to toxic debrief
  1. Sian Cooper1,
  2. Mark Winton1,
  3. Joanna Farrington-Exley2
  1. 1 Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK
  2. 2 Paediatric Psychology Department, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sian Cooper, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds LS2 9NS, UK; sian.cooper2{at}


Debriefing is well established in healthcare teams after acute events, with a focus on clinical learning, improving practice and performance; however, the term is perceived by psychologists as something quite different. This article describes the Time Out model as a standardised method of providing support to staff after events that may cause distress. In addition to exploring clinical issues, the model aims to promote peer support networks, educate staff regarding common reactions to traumatic events and signpost to other sources of support.

  • intensive care
  • psychology
  • paediatric practice
  • resuscitation
  • accident & emergency
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  • Contributors SC wrote the first draft. MW contributed to the development of Time Out and helped with the literature review. JFE provided teaching materials for training facilitators which were used in the manuscript. MW and JFE reviewed and contributed to the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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