The workforce has always been the biggest asset of any healthcare system or provider. The people who deal with life and death every day are the face of the organisation as well as the skilled resource that provide care and save lives. With the extraordinary events of COVID-19, the impact on individuals is even more marked and it is not only workplace satisfaction but the mental health and wellbeing of the workforce that are a major preoccupation of employers and healthcare leaders. But it doesn’t need a pandemic to implement measures to look after your staff.
One Trust began an initiative five years ago that has had an incredible impact that continues to this day. The title of this article is not just a cheesy reference to a Heather Small song. This is about an organisation realising that they had a cultural challenge that they had to fix. If everyone in the organisation knew, when asked, an example of the positive difference they had made, the leadership team knew that this would be transformational. So they turned to their patients for the answer.
They already begun to systematically collect feedback from their service users who were giving them dozens of pieces of feedback every single day. Inspirational messages that could lift the spirits of clinical staff. But staff were not seeing the messages.
They decided that if the teams that were providing the care could receive these messages, not just occasionally but every week or even every day, that would make the critical difference. That would provide thousands of staff with the answer to Heather Small’s question! As partners of iWantGreatCare, they had access to the real-time tools and system-wide platform that made everything visible, service by service, across the Trust. But they went one step further and made it the responsibility of one person in the organisation to ‘own’ service user feedback.
A champion who ensured that everybody in every team knew what difference they were making to their patients. He helped teams identify opportunities for improvement based on their iWGC reports and ensured they had their real-time alerts. But, using the online dashboard, he was able to go deeper, pick out the inspirational gems that engaged all levels of the organisation. They were able to identify areas who needed support and, most importantly, celebrate success where it was deserved.
For such a low financial investment in iWantGreatCare plus one dedicated role in the organisation, the results were extraordinary. The almost relentless drip-feed of positive feedback, reaching the right people ALL the time generated some of the most remarkable statistics an NHS Trust has ever seen.