Mid Staffs NHS Failings – how Workplace Mediation can help prevent such problems in the future by Cathy O’Mahoney

The CIPD’s recent quarterly survey concludes that employee engagement is at a record low in the public sector.  Employees apparently feel that they do not have a voice and that decisions are made by senior leaders with little consultation with staff.  This can lead to low morale with job satisfaction deteriorating.  I imagine that this happens not just in the public sector but in some of the private sector too.  If employees do not feel that they are important enough to contribute their views, or have their views considered, then they will not feel that they have a stake in the success or otherwise of their organisation.

Let’s be frank about this – people matter – and every person within an organisation contributes to the running of that organisation, however small a role it may be.  Every person needs to feel valued for the sake of their own self-esteem as well as for their families and communities.  A simple way of promoting this is through dialogue within the organisation as though each person matters.  In what seems like a lifetime ago studying jurisprudence at King’s College, I came across John Stuart Mill and ‘On Liberty’.  Much contained within this book holds true today just as when it was first published in 1869.  One of the parts that resonated with me most at the time was the statement that “we can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion”.  When people feel valued, they can contribute greatly no matter what their role within an organisation.  More importantly, they can help foster a culture of accountability.  But when people feel undervalued and unimportant, then organisational weaknesses are more likely to go unchallenged leading to such failures as in the Mid Staffordshire NHS which has resulted in the most dire of tragedies.  Our hearts must go out to the families who have lost loved ones due to circumstances beyond their control.  Lessons must be learned and both management and staff ought to be encouraged to contribute their views but in many cases this would involve changing whole cultures within organisations.

This is where workplace mediation can assist.  If you are truly committed to breaking down barriers to communication within your organisation, workplace mediation is the perfect medium to enable this to happen.

If you would like to find out more about workplace mediation and how this can assist your organisation, then please contact me on 01304 800001 or click here.

The original CIPD press release can be accessed below.



If you are in the middle of a separation or divorce, or are dealing with a workplace or business problem, sometimes it is difficult to see the wood for the trees.  Mediation is an extremely flexible way of dealing with issues, empowering you to keep control of all matters between yourselves and, with less opportunity for misunderstandings in communication, this can help to reduce much of the conflict that leads to litigation.  This, in turn, can eliminate the need for stressful, expensive Court hearings, keeping legal costs to a minimum.

Mediation is, at its simplest, a confidential way of assisting you to work out your problems together so that you decide how to proceed in an informed way.  All options can be looked at and discussed and the mediator will impartially assist with reality-checking each option to see how it could work in practice.  And with costs ranging from £30 to £100 per person per hour dependent upon circumstances (and no VAT!), it is extremely cost-effective.

For family mediation, and where children are involved, then contact matters can be fully explored keeping in mind what is best for the children and, with property and financial matters, similar disclosure is required from you as would be required by a solicitor or the Court. This is taken seriously within mediation to ensure that both parties negotiate on a level playing field. It is only once you are both aware of what is in the “pot” that you can really begin to negotiate on finances.  When you are ready to take legal advice, this will be on a fully prepared and informed basis.

To dispel any myths, mediation is not counselling and neither is it marriage guidance, although such services may be recommended to you by the mediator if considered to be appropriate.

For a free initial individual assessment so that you can see whether mediation may be suitable for you, contact Cathy O’Mahoney who is a non-practising solicitor with over twenty years’ experience in the legal field.  Evening and weekend appointments are available in addition to normal office hours so what have you got to lose?

Call:  01304 800 001  now.


In recognition of the first family dispute resolution week, we are pleased to offer an initial free meeting to all of those people contacting us and attending their first appointment during the month of October.  This appointment will provide you with all of the information you need about dispute resolution in family matters.

We are pleased to offer appointments in Central London and Kent locations including Deal, Broadstairs, Margate, Dover, Folkestone, Canterbury and Faversham.   For more information, contact us on 01304 800001.