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Building on successes

25 April 2019

Staff engagement and satisfaction

By now you will all have seen the staff survey results for our three hospitals. It's been great to see the collaborative working across the sites as plans take shape to engage with staff on how we address your feedback.  I've noticed an energy and drive towards improving staff engagement. This is great as the Trust board has agreed that how we engage with you is one of our three main priorities this year.

We want to ensure all our teams have a high quality staff experience and see this as being vital to good patient care. I know you will have thoughts on how we can engage with you in a way that's meaningful. Please keep an eye on your intranets and get involved in activities and events that are taking place as part of the 'you said we did' action plan activities and share your views.

There is clear evidence in hospitals around the country that where staff engagement is good patients also experience better care and satisfaction.  Good staff engagement will also help to reduce the number of staff choosing to leave and this is very relevant in nursing in particular.

Nursing

Reducing nursing vacancies is our second big priority this year. There are large numbers of nursing vacancies across our hospitals which is obviously very concerning. Plans are in place for both local and overseas nurse recruitment.  Senior staff will visit India in May to start the overseas recruitment drive for this year.

We are also working with local universities to see what more we can do to retain the student nurses who train with us. Of course recruiting new nurses and midwives is not the only solution to maintaining workforce numbers - retaining our excellent nursing and midwifery workforce is just as important. To achieve this we need to make our hospitals an attractive workplace - and crucial to that is the opportunity for career progression. We want to maximise the opportunities as we merge together to become one organisation to create more opportunities for staff to advance their careers. This year we will be doing more work to explore training and development pathways to support our existing nursing and midwifery staff. Again, this is about engaging and working with you, so please do speak to Diane or your directors of nursing if you have any ideas.

One opportunity this summer and autumn is to take part in one of the quality service improvement training programmes running across our hospitals. These are suitable for all staff and are aimed at helping staff work together and develop the capability and capacity to deliver continuous improvements in patient care.

Deteriorating patients

This leads to our third priority area for this year - and staying with the theme of improvement, we want to improve the care we offer to deteriorating patients. We know that careful observation and appropriate action can save lives.  It's vital that all clinicians are able to recognise the acutely ill patient and know how to act. This will allow us to rapidly respond and effectively manage the patient and plan their future treatment. The focus this year is to reduce the number of patients who go into an avoidable cardiac arrest. Clinicians across our hospitals are working together to share learning in these areas. Early recognition of sepsis should also remain at the front of our minds.

This is about building and improving upon the great work that everyone is doing.  My hope is that as we work together we can further develop the confidence and abilities of clinical and corporate teams so that we are making the right decisions for our patients.

Clare Panniker
Chief Executive