Brighton hospital chief promises better staff engagement in the year ahead

Posted On 02 Jan 2015 at 10:44 am

The man in charge of Brighton and Hove’s biggest hospital has promised better staff engagement this year.

Matthew Kershaw, chief executive of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, said that this would result in better patient care.

Mr Kershaw, who is in charge of the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Kemp Town, said in his final message to staff in 2014: “Among everything else that we will be doing next year there will be an increased focus on improving and broadening the ways we engage with our staff.

“Strong staff engagement is key to the success of any organisation.

Matthew Kershaw

Matthew Kershaw

“And in NHS organisations high levels of staff engagement lead to better patient experience and outcomes, better use of resources and consistent achievement of the standards which demonstrate we are delivering high quality and safe treatment and care.

“Engagement involves but is much more than good communication. It can be seen in the way people think, act and behave.

“Engaged staff are committed to and advocate for the organisation, they work well as part of a team and contribute to innovations through a desire to improve things for their patients, themselves and the wider organisation.

“And our new staff engagement plan, which we will publish early in 2015, includes a raft of activities to help us achieve this.

“One of the key factors needed for high levels of staff engagement is a set of strong, shared values and ensuring that these are reflected in day-to-day behaviours.

“We have worked hard on this over the last 12 months and made some good progress which we will continue to build on.

“Since the Values and Behaviours (V&B) consultation ended, and we launched our new blueprint, there has been a great deal going on to keep staff updated and involved and to develop the detailed implementation plan.”

The values and behaviours being promoted by the trust are

  • Communication that’s respectful, personal, honest and helpful
  • Kindness and understanding so that we feel supported and enabled to do our jobs
  • Fairness and transparency in our decisions and actions
  • Working together to get the best outcome for patients
  • Excellence – always striving to be the best we can be

Part of the impetus for the work came from national staff survey results. The most recent NHS Staff Survey results found that at the BSUH trust

  • Three in four staff feel senior managers don’t involve staff in decisions
  • Two in three staff feel communication with senior managers is poor
  • Two in three staff feel no support for their health and wellbeing
  • Two in three staff feel their job is not good for their health
  • Three in five staff feel BSUH does not value their work
  • Three in five staff feel senior managers are not committed to patient care

Mr Kershaw added that he would be out and about across the trust’s hospitals as much as possible over the Christmas and new year holidays.

He said that he wanted to have the chance to thank many of those who were working over the festive season in person.

In his weekly message Mr Kershaw wrote that he wanted to thank all of the trust’s 8,000 staff “for your dedication, compassion and hard work throughout the year and for the positive difference you have undoubtedly made to the lives of many thousands of our patients”.

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