NNUH commended for improving working lives

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust has been commended for its efforts to improve the working lives of its staff by a panel of independent NHS assessors.

The Improving Working Lives (IWL) initiative was launched nationally by the DoH four years ago, before the move to the new hospital site in Colney Lane. It involved groups of volunteers from the Trust forming discussion groups to look at ways in which their working lives might be improved. They reported their findings on issues ranging, from flexible working and childcare to training and personal development, and an action plan was prepared to take their ideas forward.

The first phase was practice which the Trust received in February 2003.  Now the Trust has been awarded ‘Practice Plus’ status for improving standards consistently across all areas of the organisation.

Areas of good practice which have been identified include communications – in particular the ‘Have your Say’ discussion board on the Trust intranet, the ‘unplugged’ sessions which allow staff to quiz the Chief Executive face-to-face, and the information plasma screen in the staff restaurant.

Other areas singled out for praise included the Occupational Health service, the Staff Charter; the KSF Adviser role, the Hospital Playscheme the foundation degree course for healthcare assistants and training initiatives for contracted-out staff.

The assessors suggested a number of further improvements, including a staff recognition scheme, a mediation scheme for dealing with bullying and harassment, protected study time, better facilities for staff in some areas and to build on the good  partnership with trade unions in all aspects of Trust business.

Non-executive director Sue Whitaker, the IWL lead for the Trust Board  commented: “The award of Practice Plus is a tribute to the determination of staff to work together to bring about significant improvements, and to ensure that all our staff are treated equally and fairly, whatever their role in the organisation. 

“We have come a long way in the last four years and we have much to be proud of, including the new nursery and flexible working arrangements. “We are determined to be an organisation where people clamour to be employed – an employer of choice.  This award is recognition that we're well on the way to realising our ambition”

HR deputy director Lynne Middlemiss added: “We’re delighted to be awarded Practice Plus and would like to thank everyone who took the time to take part in our focus groups, fill out questionnaires and support the work of the IWL team.

“We are now keen to build on the progress that has been achieved over the last four years and to start working on the suggestions of the IWL assessors. It is important that we maintain and improve on our current practice for the benefit of aal our staff and the services we provide.

Monday 21st of November 2005 11:00:20 AM