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Conflict, candour and reflection
  1. R Mark Beattie
  1. Paediatric Gastroenterology, Southampton Children’s Hospital, University Hospital Southampton, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor R Mark Beattie, Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist, Southampton Children’s Hospital, University Hospital Southampton, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK; mark.beattie{at}

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There are many challenges to practising medicine well, not least keeping up to date with medical advances, implementing them within the time and financial restraints of ever expanding healthcare and avoiding over or under treatment while keeping the patient safe and avoiding criticism or complaints. In essence, considering the ‘whole patient’ and managing them using our knowledge, skills and experience which no longer equates to just the medical facts with increased recognition that skills like ‘openness’, ‘listening’, ‘transparency’ and enhanced communication are partly acquired by experience but can also be facilitated by training, mentoring and working in a positive and supportive environment. Multiple new areas of thinking have emerged as priorities—conflict resolution training, the duty of candour, learning from excellence, the need to reflect and active consideration of well being for ourselves, our patients and their families. These concepts need to be embraced as they will help facilitate us practising medicine better and therefore better serve the needs of our patients.

Liz Forbat and Sarah Barclay report the outcome of a new conflict management framework to help staff and identify and de-escalate conflict between staff, patients and families.1 Over the last 5 years, these authors have effectively put together an evidence base for putting a strategy for conflict management in place by publishing data that recognised the problem, categorising it, recognising the predictability of escalation, recognising the factors that trigger conflict and recognising the need for training to help deal with it.2–4 They have now developed a training programme and management strategy and tested it to confirm efficacy.3

The Conflict Management Framework is a …

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  • Funding The author has 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 Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Author note RMB was Editor in Chief of Archives of Disease in Childhood from 2012 to 2017.

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