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Use of multidisciplinary Balint groups in paediatrics and neonates to enhance well-being
  1. Annie Colthorpe1,
  2. Faezeh Sakhinia1,
  3. Elizabeth Shackley2
  1. 1 Paediatrics, HENW, Manchester, UK
  2. 2 Paediatrics, Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Annie Colthorpe, Paediatrics, HENW, Manchester M1 3BN, UK; annie.colthorpe{at}

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Implementation and review of a multidisciplinary Balint group in the paediatric and neonatal units of a busy district general hospital.


  • To develop a series of Balint sessions over 3 months to discuss emotionally challenging topics.

  • To identify some of the common stressors felt by healthcare professionals attending.

  • To assess the effect of these sessions on individual perceptions of fatigue and stress.

  • To gain feedback about session usefulness and future improvements.

Making a case for change

There has been increasing recognition of the rising physical, mental and emotional demands placed on National Health Service staff.1 With this, there has been a secondary rise in reports of burn-out and emotional exhaustion.2 We identified similar concerns within our local departments and therefore developed an intervention to support our colleagues’ well-being.

We outlined our case for change with the senior team, including consultants and paediatric and neonatal nurse managers. This was met with support and enthusiasm. In particular, some nursing managers stepped down to the shop floor to ensure adequate staffing to enable participation. We advertised to the multidisciplinary team via email, posters and at departmental meetings.

Our improvements

We implemented our project using the Plan-Do-Study-Act …

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  • Contributors AC and FS wrote this manuscript with support from ES. All authors approved the final version of this 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.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.