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48 The solihull approach: an evaluation of staff training on understanding and supporting relationships and emotional communication in a paediatric hospital setting
  1. Ruchi Bakshi,
  2. Sophie Coulter,
  3. Dawn Cutler
  1. Great Ormond Street Hospital


The Solihull Approach (SA) is an integrated model of relationships based on three theoretical concepts; containment, reciprocity and behaviour management. These concepts are well established in psychoanalytical and behavioural models and child development research. The approach was originally developed between Child Psychotherapy, Clinical Psychology and Health Visiting in Solihull. It provides professionals with a common framework for understanding emotions and behaviour in relational terms. The SA aims to support professionals in their work with complex patients and families through a lens of understanding themselves and their peers, teams and the wider systems. It enables professionals to consider what they need to support their own emotional wellbeing in a way that means they are able to offer the best possible care to families

The SA has been widely used and evidenced in its effectiveness by both NHS and voluntary sector groups in the UK and internationally. This evaluation explored the application of the SA in a paediatric hospital setting as this was a new context for the model.

This pilot study evaluated the effectiveness and relevance of the SA training at GOSH and considered whether it did support staff to better understand their patients‘ emotional needs and communications.

A mixed method design combining both quantitative measures and qualitative interviews was used to assess the impact of the SA Foundation training in the Psychological Therapies service. This pilot study evaluated training participants’ understanding and confidence at three time points: pre training, post training and six months post training. We include the results of initial qualitative interviews conducted with staff trained using the model at GOSH.

These are initial results and a test of method before we cascade the training. They suggest the approach is viewed as relevant by training participants and that it has helpful applications in the care of complex children.

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