Leading Healthcare Awards 2022: Workforce Initiative of the Year

Is is that time of year already? Here, we unveil the finalists of the Leading Healthcare Awards 2022 and share with our readers the entries, case studies and submissions.

Here we’ll look at the entries in the ‘Workforce Initiative of the Year’ category and highlight some amazing work-based schemes and the healthcare organisations behind them!

Once you’re done reading about the inspiring work of the submissions down below, join us at 7pm on 7 April 2022 to find out the winner!

Proud2bOps (hosted by Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

To introduce our Workforce Initiative of the Year category, we start with Proud2bOps (hosted by Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust), a peer community of operational leaders, who are committed to ‘learning and providing idea exchange,’ as well as ‘fostering a safe haven of trust, respect and confidentiality.’ 

Emma Challans, former Deputy Chief Operating Officer, established the community in 2017 to form a network for NHS operational leaders, as well as a ‘protected space’ for operational managers to ‘engage and connect with their peers in a safe developmental way outside of task focussed performance meetings’.

The initiative has amassed over 750 members from 280 provider organisations, who regularly come together to share, learn and professionally challenge one another in a trusted way. 

The aims of the peer community include:  
– Give the community permission to develop as an operational leader 
– Increase confidence and break the loneliness felt in the role 
– Celebrate successes and support recognition 
– Offer support and engagement and model leadership values 
– Share stories and ideas to reduce duplication and waste 
– Influence system thinking and development through local and national partnerships 
– Provide a forum of operational expert leaders and act as a trusted national consultative body 
– Design and introduce an operational manager development programme and ‘kite mark’ 
– Enhance the capability and capacity of operational managers 

The entry statement said: “Proud2bOps has applied a system thinking approach to operational connectivity and development. Our membership spans all provider settings; acute, community, primary, mental health, ambulance and the VCSE sector.  

“Our network focusses on a partnership model with key mutually beneficial relationships in place with influential national organisations such as NHS Providers, NHS England and Improvement, Institute of Health and Social Care Managers, NHS Leadership Academy and the NHS Confederation, to name but a few.” 

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The second entry in our Workforce Initiative of the Year category is from Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for their provision of free interactive health and wellbeing checks for staff, known as Health Needs Assessment checks (HNA).  

The health assessments, which is part of OUH’s Growing Stronger Together people recovery programme, enable staff to measure their body mass index (BMI), heart rate, weight, blood pressure (BP), and body fat content. 

Each staff member working at OUH are permitted to use the kiosks – including volunteers and staff employed by the trust’s PFI (Private Finance Initiative) partners – and are also offered a series of lifestyle questions to answer, in which the machine will display the staff’s estimated ‘wellbeing age’ in comparison with their actual age.   

Terry Roberts, Chief People Officer, OUH, said: “The wellbeing of our people is a real priority for us, especially during these challenging times. We know that staff wellbeing has a really positive impact on compassionate patient care, so we’re really grateful to our local partners for helping us offer this valuable opportunity to our staff, helping us move towards a healthier, happier #OneTeamOneOUH.” 

Melanie Saunders, Senior Responsible Officer for the BOB ICS Enhanced Occupational Health and Wellbeing Project, commented on the new health checks: “We’re thrilled to be able to offer this exciting service to OUH staff. 

“While we are all aware there are things we can do to improve our health, we may be reluctant to seek help from a healthcare professional, or we may just feel we want some privacy around our needs. Using technology is a good way to encourage us to take that first important step – and it can be fun, too.” 

Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust

The following entry in the Work Initiative of the Year category is from Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust for their Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy – a joint effort between the mental health trust and the Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust. 

The trust outlined that its’ ‘primary function’ is to deliver excellent care for the diverse populations of North Central London (NCL) and that they will ‘collaborate with NHS colleagues, primary care, our local authorities, and the voluntary and community sector to deliver integrated care and prevention initiatives at neighbourhood level near to where patients and service users live and work.’ 

Five main areas of focus aligning with the ‘objectives of national EDI standards (Workforce Race Equality Standard, Workforce Disability Equality Standard, Gender Pay Gap), include: improve service user access and experience; better health outcomes; representative and supported workforce; inclusive leadership; and culture change mainstreaming EDI. 

An aim underpinning the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health’s strategy is to ensure all service users are ‘supported to achieve their health and wellbeing goals,’ as well as empower those ‘who at times may struggle to have their voices heard in society, and provide them with choices, effective advocacy, and compassion.’ 

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC)

Next in our Work Initiative of the Year category is Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC) for their contributions to a strategy for nursing, which sets out five ambitions to be delivered over the next three years.  

The five ambitions contained within the strategy include: 

  • Ensure the delivery of safe high-quality care and that patient participation and engagement is central in all they do 
  • Strengthen and increase the voice and visibility of nursing and nursing leadership 
  • Work with individuals, families and communities to equip them to make informed choices and manage their own health 
  • Have the right people, in the right places and at the right time 
  • Supporting excellence in practice and the professional contribution of nursing and practice that supports financial stability. 

Marcia Perry, Director of Nursing and Therapies, commented: “I’ve been extremely proud to be the chief of nursing and therapies here through the pandemic and to see the unique role and contribution that every member of Team BCHC has made. 

“In particular, I pay tribute to the contribution of our nursing family, which makes up the largest proportion of our workforce. 

“Through this time, many members of that ‘family’ have worked with me and the team to develop this, our first professional nursing strategy, and to develop the five ambitions we will deliver over the next three years, which focus on providing safe, high quality care, with patient experience at the heart of everything we do.” 

The strategy: “Our three-year Nursing Strategy is based around five ambitions to empower our nurses to lead and deliver the best care.

“The strategy is designed to address some of the key challenges the profession faces and to ensure that we have a professional, compassionate and highly skilled workforce to enable us to provide high quality care and make BCHC a great place to work.” 

Quality Trusted Solutions

The final entry within our Workforce Initiative of the year is from Quality Trusted Solutions (QTS), a company which specialises in estates advice and services, for its “programme of change,” which provides a sense of inclusion for staff members in order to ‘make sure they could feed into the process,’ ‘contribute to decisions’ and ‘be heard.’ 

Objectives of the QTS effort include:  

  • Developing a vision and purpose that empowered staff 
  • Instilling the values and behaviours that reflected the culture QTS wanted to foster 
  • Providing staff with the skills, capabilities and tools that they need to be successful. 

The initiatives QTS put in place included: 

  • Reviewing organisation structure and workload for managing people remotely 
  • Modifying policies and procedures to support ‘quick decisions and agile working’ 
  • Changing recruitment practices to include ‘value-based questions’ 
  • Setting up working groups with representatives from every service, to help people to contribute and develop 
  • Overhauling the process for allocating the training budget and incentivising staff to develop and gain skills  
  • Introducing “Touching Base” surveys to give employees space to confidentially share their feelings and make suggestions  
  • Providing mandatory workshops on resilience and wellbeing every single staff member.