Health & Social Care Mediation with Arabella Tresilian

Since 1999, Arabella has worked with 100s of social workers, doctors, nurses, community health workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, police officers, teachers and NHS management professionals across the UK as a trainer, management consultant, patient, patient researcher, and kinship carer.

Arabella’s mediation, facilitation and team development work in health and social care includes:

  • Patient/Professional Mediation (via Medical Mediation Foundation
  • Local Authority / Provider / Customer disputes
  • Clinical Commissioning Group disputes
  • Court of Protection 
  • Mental Capacity Act / DoLs
  • Judicial Reviews
  • Care homes
  • Lasting Powers of Attorney / Family disputes
  • End of Life Care
  • Paediatric Palliative Care
  • Elder Mediation
  • Mental Health Act / Care Act
  • Colleague conflict and Team dysfunction

Specialist  in mental health, disabilities and neurodiversity

Arabella specialises in supporting clients with mental health conditions, disabilities and neurodiverse conditions. During the pandemic, alongside her mediation cases, she trained 2800 individuals in mental health and conflict resolution skills. She has been featured as an advocate on mental health, neurodiversity and conflict resolution by: Public Health England, British Medical Journal, the King’s Fund, ITN News, Sky News, Channel 5 News, BBC Radio 4’s Inside Health, Financial Times, Good Housekeeping, Psychologies Magazine and The Sun. 

How would a typical health and social care mediation work?

Health and social care mediations often focus on building understanding, repairing relationships and agreeing future care provision. On that basis, health and social care mediations are more likely to take place over a series of sessions rather than on a single day, to permit time for listening, exploring and making decisions that will be sustainable and acceptable to all parties.  

Mediations in health and social care disputes are effective because…

Alternatives to mediation may include professionals or service users either ‘putting up’ with difficult situations, or on the other hand, taking drastic action, like going to court or initiating formal complaints processes. While either of those routes can certainly have their place, mediation is a tried and tested approach that favours future relationships. It can be used at any point in any disagreement or dispute, but an earlier mediation process is usually better for the wellbeing of all involved.  

What format do health and social care mediations typically take?

Health and social care mediations can be highly flexible, involving a mixture of online and in-person sessions, depending on time availability, geographical proximity and parties’ preferences.  

Cost structure

We agree on an initial budget, which can be flexed as the process gets underway. I will let you know when you are reaching your initial budget and explore next steps with you. Costs can be divided between the parties, or paid by one party only – and sometimes one or more party may be eligible for legal aid.  

Trends in the industry

There is an increasing awareness of mediation in both the health and social care sectors, and also in the courts that support and oversee the sector. Health and social care providers are realising that unresolved disputes can damage relations, affect/delay care provision, cost the taxpayer, and affect the trust that the public has towards their services. 

Health & Social Care Cases – examples of cases undertaken by Arabella

Commissioned by
Court of Protection: a court-ordered mediation concerning the care of a person living dementia, involving the local authority, P’s legal representative, and the family members and their legal representatives. A care plan, with timeline for change of residency, was agreed.  Adult Care Mediation / Local Authority / Conroys Solicitors
Court of Protection: a ‘pre-legal proceedings’ mediation between family members in disagreement over Covid-safe visitation protocols for a relative living with dementia.  Medical Mediation Foundation / Family
Paediatric Palliative Care: facilitating Emergency Care Planning where disagreement on plans existed between the medical team and the family of a young child with a life-limiting condition.  Medical Mediation Foundation / NHS Hospital Trust 
Court of Protection: the court-ordered mediation of a dispute between a local authority and paid carers on the future care of a young adult with learning disabilities (including autism) and mental health difficulties. Working relationship restored, and P’s care plan agreed upon.  Ashfords LLP / Local Authority 
Judicial Review: a long-running dispute with Judicial Review proceedings underway, in which a group of patients were challenging the decision of a statutory health and social care provider to withdraw current care plan. Parties to the mediation included: patients, clinician, health senior manager, solicitors, barrister and patient advocate. Parties agreed steps forward to resolve the dispute and to end JR proceedings. Medical Mediation Foundation / Foot Anstey LLP / Leigh Day LLP 
Court of Protection: co-mediator to a court-ordered mediation involving a family in dispute with a Local Authority about the care provision for a young adult with learning disabilities and mental health difficulties.  Adult Care Mediation / LeighDay LLP / Local Authority

Testimonials for Arabella’s Health & Social Care Mediation 

  • Patient: The mediator was extremely good at putting me at ease and was good at her job 
  • Advocate: The flexibility and openness of the mediator was so helpful.
  • Patient: Arabella was very caring, compassionate and really easy to talk to. She made me feel at ease and able to open up. Arabella has made this process much easier. 
  • Social Worker: Arabella led the session extremely well, her methods of allowing each party to share information without interruption allowed all voices to be heard and fostered an open and honest discussion from all parties. 
  • Patient: Mediation feels quite daunting, scary and uneasy initially, but after some time of being with Arabella and my colleagues and passing ideas around, you feel much more at ease and start to gain valuable ideas and get somewhere. 
  • Social care client: I feel a lot more confident to deal with things as they come up now in a calm manner. Thanks for your support – it has made a difference to me and my family. 
  • Foster Carers: Mediation is something we never considered. When we went we both felt very uncomfortable and was unsure of what the day would bring. Once there you made us feel safe. The structure of the day gave everyone an opportunity  to speak openly but knowing you were there gave us a safe place to do this and not be judged. Thank you once again for enabling us to be listened to and to listen to others. 
  • Social Care Tenant: Thanks so much for your facilitation yesterday and your kindness and support. It was great that some kind words were spoken between [the other party] and ourselves and it feels like the resolution we came to is manageable.
  • Social Care Tenant: “[The housing association] have moved [my neighbour]. I really believe they would not have done this without your involvement. You helped me get my voice heard. I want to thank you for all your help. I can now get on with my life”


Arabella is a lead researcher/trainer on the UK pilot project to train social workers in conflict resolution skills.