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Putting Staff at the Heart of the New Hospital Build Programme

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A strategic meeting was organised by the independent policy institute, Curia convening leaders from across the new hospital build programme and NHS estates to discuss ways in which staff can be put at the heart of the system.

The strategic meeting focused on the new hospital build program and highlighted the importance of involving staff in the process. The meeting addressed key aspects such as the need for a comprehensive NHS workforce strategy, consulting staff and healthcare facility users, integrating digitalization into healthcare infrastructure, considering environmental considerations, and implementing discussed ideas.

The findings from the session will be incorporated into Curia’s NHS Workforce Commission to commence following the publication of the NHS Workforce Strategy in June.

Following this meeting, a ‘sprint’ roundtable will be organised for September in Wolverhampton, where systems operators will think through ways to best implement and operationalise the recommendations from this strategic meeting.

Attendees

  • Professor Mike Bewick, Co-Chair NHS Innovation and Life Sciences Commission (Former National Deputy Medical Director, NHS England) (Co-Chair)
  • Professor Ann Keen, Commissioner, NHS Innovation and Life Sciences Commission (Former Minister for Health) (Co-Chair)
  • Josie Rudman, New Hospital Programme – Transformation Director and Chief Nurse, NHS England
  • Rob Grover, New Hospital Programme – Director of Workforce, NHS England
  • Hilary Stables, Chief People Officer, NHS Property Services
  • Helen Balsdon, Interim Chief Nursing Information Officer, NHS England
  • Sarah Thomas, New Hospital Programme Digital Director, NHS England
  • Professor Alison Leary MBE, Director, International Community Nursing Observatory, The Queen’s Nursing Institute and Chair of Healthcare & Workforce Modelling at London South Bank University
  • Gareth Walsh, Commercial Director, SSG (Static Systems Group)
  • Stuart Guest, Business Unit Manager – Healthcare, SSG (Static Systems Group)
  • Rosie Cunningham Thomas, Managing Director SSG (Static Systems Group)
  • Kate Cassidy, Head of Marketing, SSG (Static Systems Group)
  • Ben Howlett, Chief Executive, Curia

The Importance of Staff Involvement

The meeting emphasised that the input of those who work within the NHS should not be overlooked when rebuilding parts of the healthcare system. Consulting staff members, users of healthcare facilities, and external stakeholders was deemed crucial for a holistic and inclusive approach to the design process. By involving those who work within the system, valuable insights can be gained, ensuring that the new buildings and initiatives meet the needs of both staff and patients.

Embracing Digitalisation

Digitalisation was identified as an essential aspect of healthcare infrastructure. It was recognised that digital technologies can facilitate improved care and provide new ways of working. Integrating digitalisation effectively into healthcare facility design and operations can streamline processes, enhance communication, and improve overall efficiency within the healthcare system.

Aligning with Environmental Agendas

Considering the current geopolitical landscape and the importance of environmental issues, the meeting stressed the need to align healthcare policies with environmental agendas and timetables. By seeking expertise in environmental matters, the healthcare sector can actively contribute to broader environmental goals. This alignment is crucial for sustainable healthcare practices and minimizing the sector’s environmental impact.

Value of Staff Experience

The meeting emphasised the link between excellent staff experience and performance. When employees feel valued, supported, and encouraged, they are more likely to deliver their best work. Recognising and prioritsing staff experience can lead to improved retention rates, reduced recruitment costs, and attract a highly skilled workforce to the NHS.

Listening and Taking Action

Implementing a culture of colleague engagement, listening, and taking action is crucial for effective staff involvement. Regular feedback sessions, engagement surveys, and pulse surveys can gather valuable insights from colleagues. Translating this feedback into actionable plans demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement and ensures that staff concerns and preferences are addressed.

Key Recommendations

Based on the discussions in the meeting, the following recommendations were identified:

  • Prioritise staff involvement: Consultation with staff members, users of healthcare facilities, and external stakeholders is crucial for a holistic and inclusive approach to design.
  • Embrace digitalization: Integrate digital technologies effectively into healthcare facility design and operations to improve care and streamline processes.
  • Align with environmental agendas: Seek expertise in environmental matters to inform decision-making processes and contribute to broader environmental goals.
  • Value staff experience: Recognise the link between excellent staff experience and performance. Support and value employees to improve retention rates and attract a skilled workforce.
  • Listen and take action: Implement a culture of colleague engagement, listen to feedback through surveys and sessions, and translate feedback into actionable plans.

Final Thought

The strategic meeting highlighted the importance of involving staff in the new hospital build program. By prioritising staff involvement, embracing digitalisation, aligning with environmental agendas, valuing staff experience, and promoting a culture of listening and action, the NHS can build a healthcare system that values its workforce and the communities it serves. These recommendations provide a roadmap for policymakers and stakeholders to prioritise staff involvement and create a healthcare system that meets the needs of both staff and patients.

Putting staff at the heart of the New Hospital Build Programme event invite
Curia looks forward to welcoming system leaders to Wolverhampton to discuss their ideas in more detail.

This event was organised in partnership with smart communications solutions specialists, SSG (Static Systems Group): www.staticsystems.co.uk

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