Accredited paediatric medical mediation training

April 16th - May 22nd 2024


Conflicts between health professionals, families and patients can have long-lasting impact on relationships between the family of a sick child or young person and the team providing their care and treatment. Recent, high profile court cases involving disputes over the medical treatment of babies and young children, have highlighted the need for independent mediation to be offered more frequently, to try to resolve disputes and build consensus between families and clinical teams.

About this course

Training experienced health and social care professionals and managers as accredited mediators provides them with essential skills to manage and mediate conflict between families and health professionals. This can be either within the healthcare setting where they work or as independent mediators instructed by other healthcare providers, lawyers or families.

This intensive course is taught by experts in the field of paediatrics, law, ethics, family and medical mediation. The teaching will take place over 16 x half day online sessions, split into three modules, plus 2 assessment half days.

Module 1: April 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25 / Module 2: May 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10 / Module 3: May 16, 17, 20 and two half days of assessment on May 21 and 22. Participants will take part in a 90 minute recorded video assessment of their mediation skills on one of these two half days.

The course is fully accredited by the Open College Network at Level 3 (equivalent to an Advanced Diploma) and offers three units with a total of 9 credits.

The course combines theory with coached mediation practice using a wide range of paediatric conflict scenarios. You will learn about conflict and mediation within the paediatric context, the practical skills and mindset needed to be a mediator, the process of mediation and the relevant medical law and ethics required to mediate conflict in paediatrics.

The course will be delivered online and includes pre-course reading, group discussions, practical exercises, mediation practice and reflective work. The assessment process involves an assessed filmed role play, daily reflective logs and written assignments.

Aims and learning outcomes

  • To identify and understand the nature and causes of conflicts between health professionals, parents and young people in the paediatric context.
  • To demonstrate a working knowledge of relevant theory, including conflict resolution frameworks, medical law and ethics, compassionate communication and relevant ethical frameworks applicable to achieving consensus between families and health professionals.
  • To demonstrate a working knowledge of the key techniques and skills underpinning key aspects of medical mediation.
  • To develop and demonstrate key communication and mediation skills.
  • To lead and manage a mediation process, including preparation, assessment meetings, joint sessions and drafting of documentation.
  • To help participants to acknowledge their personal responses to conflict and how these may affect their practice as a mediator.

Cost: £3,240 (inc VAT)

Entry requirements

Those wishing to train as paediatric medical mediators must be able to work at graduate level and will usually have a degree or equivalent level of professional qualification or work experience. They will have the ability to work with conflicts and manage interpersonal relationships at a professional level, through a minimum of three years’ experience dealing with patients and families (e.g. as a doctor, nurse, allied health professional, social worker or hospital administrator). We welcome applicants from a variety of backgrounds who can show that they have the relevant experience.

Structure of the course

The course is delivered in three modules over 16 x half days plus a half day of assessment. It is essential that you attend all training sessions in order to be eligible for accreditation. With only 8-12 participants on the course, you will get to know each other well, guided by 3-4 trainers throughout. We hope you will find the course informative, stimulating and fun as well as challenging at times. Apart from presentations by the trainers, the course includes participation in group discussion, exercises, role plays and self-reflective practice.

Before the course, we will ask you to do some introductory reading. During the course we will ask you to complete a daily reflective diary. At the end of the course we will ask you to complete three written assignments (including a sample mediation agreement) as part of the assessment process.


The course is assessed both by the trainers and by an independent assessor. The trainers will work with you during the course to help you reach the required level of competence to enable you to pass the course. If you don’t reach the required level, you will have the option to resubmit your written assignments once; and to repeat the final filmed role-play assessment (but this will incur an additional cost).

How to apply

Please download and complete the course application form and email it to If you are accepted, we will then send you a password so you can complete your booking online. Please also ensure you download and read, and agree to our terms and condition

Download information

Download our introduction to this course here

Testimonials from the 2023 course: 

"Some courses say that they are life changing – well this one really is, if you want to learn how to communicate, and learn more about yourself than you ever have before then this is the course for you. The faculty are amazing – learning these skills is hard, but they support you through in a positive and caring environment. I can't recommend it highly enough. Thank you.  Danielle Seddon, paediatric anaesthetist

"This is hands down the best communication course I have been lucky enough to do. We learnt vital communication skills that enable us to feel confident to manage conflict effectively. It has been incredibly rewarding to see these new skills positively impact the young children and parents I support in my own clinical practice. We know that healthcare clinicians have called for more communication skills training as part of their continuing education – however I think this course is meeting the most valuable and unmet needs. This course empowers clinicians to feel confident navigating conflict and to learn the skills you need to truly listen to children and their families” Dr Nick Mills, paediatrician and specialist in palliative care, Adelaide, Australia. 

"The paediatric medical mediation course has given me so much. Space to learn about conflict, develop understanding and try out new skills that have enabled me with connect people in a more meaningful way, professionally and personally. "

Peta Coulson-Smith, paediatric palliative care consultant


Testimonials from the 2022 course:

"The Paediatric Medical Mediation Course is an amazing programme which takes you on a journey of self- reflection and discovery. I learned to really listen, hear and understand people in a completely new and powerful way. It highlights why conflict arises, how to avoid conflict, and how to help people explore their real underlying issues. Through a fantastic mix of presentations, discussions and role practice evolves an understanding and comfort with running a full formal medical mediation session. The warmth, skill and adaptability of the facilitators is both inspiring and encouraging. The small cohort allows immersive, intense, hands on learning and a real sense of close connection within the group. Although this course teaches formal mediation, the insights and teaching are relevant to all aspects of healthcare with lessons applicable to all aspects of life. I highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in communicating effectively, and particularly recommend it to all embarking on their journey as clinicians. It will teach you to connect and support your patients and colleagues in the best possible way right from the start. I wish I had this opportunity 30 years ago!

Fiona Miles, Paediatric intensivist, Starship hospital, Auckland, NZ


"I learned such a lot about the nature of both conflict and mediation through this course. It has challenged my preconceptions about what it is to be a ‘good’ communicator. It has enabled me to see when mediation might be helpful clinically, and when it is not suitable.” Non-consultant doctor

"This course was expertly facilitated in a supportive and safe environment that allowed us to learn advanced skills in communication and mediation but also, importantly, to learn a huge amount about ourselves. What became clear was how much conflict affects us on a daily basis when working in paediatrics and how transformative it can be to have simple tools to avoid conflict escalating.” Non-consultant doctor.

"Extremely knowledgeable faculty. Excellent use of time giving me lifelong skills which I can use in my professional and personal life.” Non-consultant doctor


Testimonials from the first course in 2021

“If you have an interest in exploring conflict or ‘how things go wrong’, this course is great. Not only do you learn the fundamentals of conflict and the principles of mediation, teaching, practice and coaching allows you to practice and develop these skills in a safe environment. Our group was virtual (due to the covid pandemic) but by the end of the course, we felt very supported by each other and the facilitators. The course is very intense so you will need the time free from clinical practice and exclusively for concentrating on the course. It is an excellent course so you will want to focus on it entirely. Truly excellent course, thank you.” Rosie Hanna, Palliative nurse, Northern Ireland

“This course provides outstanding training in the mediation skills required to mediate in a paediatric medical setting. The combination of theoretical and practical training will transform my clinical and organisational work, and I wholeheartedly recommend the training to anyone working in child health, particularly in some of the areas where higher levels of conflict occur.” Dr Louise Webster, Consultant Liaison Child Psychiatrist, New Zealand

“An invaluable course for anyone with an invested interest in helping to resolve conflict between families and paediatric health professionals. The content of the course was meticulously planned, covering conflict theory, our responses to conflict, facilitating mediation within the medical sphere, and the skills, legal and ethical considerations required when mediating paediatric disputes. Led by a highly experienced and knowledgeable team, the course delivery was stimulating, thought provoking and fascinating. Participation was encouraged and valued throughout, and course delegates were kept well informed about all aspects of the course – prior to course commencement and throughout. I couldn’t recommend the course highly enough.” Polly Walker, Resolution Consultant, UK

“I began this course thinking I was simply going to learn a new set of skills. It is so much more than that, I have been changed and equipped to be a better person, friend and colleague. It was the most challenging, intense course I have ever done, at points I felt completely undone but have begun understanding mediation in all its beauty and discomfort. It is a must for anyone who values personal and professional growth.” Vanessa Greyling, Paediatric nurse, UK


Course faculty

Sarah Barclay, Director, Medical Mediation Foundation

Sarah is the founder of the Medical Mediation Foundation, She is an accredited mediator and also Co-Director of the Evelina Resolution Project, which provides mediation and conflict management training to clinical and non-clinical staff at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

In 2014 Sarah was voted an “NHS Innovator” by the Health Service Journal for her work on the Evelina project.

She has a Masters degree in Medical Law and Ethics from King’s College London and is a former award winning BBC social affairs presenter. In 2018, the Medical Mediation Foundation won Mediation Programme of the Year in the National Mediation Awards for its work on the Evelina Resolution Project.

Dr Macarena Mata

Macarena has worked professionally in the mediation and conflict resolution field since 2004. She is a qualified Trainer in mediation and conflict resolution and self-awareness to executives, academics and community groups, as well as a Trainer in peer mediation and in conflict resolution to young adults. Macarena has worked as a Lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London, on conflict theory and reflective practice for conflict practitioners at the PgCert and MSc courses. Her company Ataraxy Mediation is registered with the Open College Network ( to accredit Community Mediation, Workplace Mediation and Paediatric Medical Mediation training (in collaboration with The Medical Mediation Foundation) and is also registered with the Family Mediation Council ( to accredit Family Mediation Foundation Courses.

Dr Claire Macaulay

Claire is an accredited mediator, trainer and executive coach. She qualified as a doctor from Liverpool University in 1999 and trained in Medical Oncology in Glasgow, picking up an MD along the way. She currently works as a Speciality Doctor in breast cancer at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.

Claire spent 10 years as a Medico-Legal Advisor with the Medical Defence Union, supporting and defending doctors during the most difficult time in their professional lives. A passionate educator and facilitator, Claire is an accomplished, highly sought-after trainer and public speaker, specialising in advanced communication skills. She is convinced that compassionate communication can transform relationships and resolve even the most intractable disputes.

Dr Esse Menson

Esse became a consultant paediatrician in 2006 and accredited mediator in 2014. She gained a PhD in vaccine development research in 1989 before qualifying as a doctor from Bristol Medical School in 1994 then training in Melbourne, Australia and South East England to specialise in Infectious Diseases & Immunology. In 2012, she helped develop the Evelina Resolution Project with MMF while she was a consultant at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

Esse is one of the principal trainers working with MMF to deliver training and coaching in understanding and managing conflict to multidisciplinary health and social care professionals around the UK and internationally. She mediates conflicts in healthcare and workplace settings and is certificated in Compassion Training from the Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, Stanford, USA (2019) and Mindful Self Compassion Training (Kristen Neff/Christopher Germer model), London, UK (2019).


Download information

Download our introduction to this course here