Local Training Initiatives Lead us into September

I can’t quite believe Summer is coming to an end – it’s passed so quickly hasn’t it! With Autumn just around the corner, we welcome some exciting training and developmental initiatives to boost your career, including the High Potential Scheme and the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme – both offering unique opportunities to gain experience and challenge yourself.

We’re also due to launch the annual National NHS Staff Survey, which is a completely anonymous way to share your views to help us improve, so I really hope you all take the time to give your opinions in the survey.

High Potential Scheme Pilots in Staffodshire

A new scheme has launched, which I’m really excited about, as it’s a unique opportunity for Combined staff to develop their skills and realise their potential. 

The High Potential Scheme (HPS) is an exciting new National Leadership Academy development programme that is being piloted for the first time within Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent STP. Seeking to develop the next generation of NHS leaders, the scheme is like no other. It is a fully funded, 24-month career development scheme to help high potential, aspiring middle level clinical or non-clinical leaders accelerate their career to senior executive roles at a faster pace.

The scheme focuses on gaining practical experience in a range of role settings and strategic experience through assignments and projects. With the help of a careers coach, throughout the scheme participants will also develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to become an outstanding, compassionate and inclusive senior leader across health and care. This hands-on experience is something that many developmental programmes can’t always offer, so I really would urge anyone interested to apply, as there is a limited number of places available. Make sure you apply by 8 September. 

To apply and find out if you are eligible, visit the Together We’re Better High Potential Scheme Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent STP

This short video provides an overview of the scheme.

NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme

The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme (GMTS), led by NHS Leadership Academy, aims to be the experience that defines your career. With applications now open for the March 2020 intake, the initiative is for those on Bands 3-6 with a 2:2 degree or equivalent. 

This is a multi-award winning Scheme, where participants will benefit from mentoring, support and first-class training from some of the most brilliant minds in and outside the NHS. It promises to give you life-defining experiences and you will be able to influence decisions that improve the lives of millions of people. And, after two years (or two and a half if you opt for finance), you’ll be ready to take your career further than you thought possible as you apply for senior NHS roles. If you share our commitment to providing a world-class healthcare service, and you have the determination and drive to meet challenges head-on, click here to find out more and how to apply: www.nhsgraduates.co.uk.

Shortlisted In HSJ Awards

Celebrating our achievements as a Trust is an exciting time. Having been rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission this year, making Combined Healthcare only 1 of 2 specialist mental health Trusts in England with this overall rating, we continue our journey to be outstanding in all we do and how we do it. The Health Service Journal ( HSJ ) recently announced that we have been shortlisted as one of the finalists for Mental Health Provider of the Year 2019 in the HSJ Awards. Being a Mental Health Provider finalist is great news for the trust and the wider geographical area. This year has been a fruitful one for teams across our Trust – and a pattern we hope to continue!

From winning Healthcare Provider of the Year in the Leading Healthcare Awards, being Shortlisted in three categories HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards and, finally, being shortlisted for Public Sector Team of the Year at the Partnerships Awards. It would be great to end the summer and be announced Mental Health Provider of the year. Alongside five other great mental health providers, we are extremely proud of this recognition and excited to find out the outcome on 6 November 2019.

Our Latest Podcast with Volunteer Peer Mentors

If you haven’t already listened, make sure you check out our podcast, where we catch up with the Volunteer Peer Mentors as they graduate their training.

The Volunteer Peer Mentor Scheme is for anyone with a lived experience of mental health issues who can use their personal experiences to develop meaningful and trusting relationships with people, acting as a mentor and role model. We talk to the tutors and four of first cohort of volunteer peer mentors on their final day of training before being paired up with service users or those in recovery.

As those who successfully managed their own recovery, the new Peer Mentors will be able to provide an example of what people can aim for in their recovery. We will be following up with the mentors in future podcasts, so look out for more from the group soon. The second cohort of the 10-week free training course begins on 17 October. You don’t need to have accessed our services at North Staffs Combined Healthcare – anyone is welcome. If you would like to be a Volunteer Peer Mentor, please get in touch with Veronica Emlyn on 07720 336946 or email veronica.emlyn@combined.nhs.uk.

It’s Almost Time for our National Staff Survey 2019

On 30 September, the National Staff Survey will go live. Please look out for an email from survey@quality-health.co.uk with a subject header of North Staffordshire Combined NHS Trust 2019 NHS Staff Survey: Invitation.

Some of our staff (Health Care Support Workers and the Estates team), will receive a postal paper copy of the survey. We have made this decision to support with the potential limited online access you may have throughout the working day, due to the role of these staff.

You, our staff, are our most valuable resource and ensuring that Combined continues to be a great place to work is important to us. To capture even more staff views via the staff survey is critical if we are to understand what we are doing well and where we can further improve.

Following your feedback from last year, some of the areas we developed resulted in:

  • The establishment of  BAME facilitators in the Trust
  • The  implementation of  a reverse mentoring scheme
  • Additional car parking spaces at the Harplands hospital, relieving some of the pressure that staff feel before starting work
  • Establishing Freedom to Speak up champions throughout the Trust
  • Delivering development programmes for our Nurses, HCSWs and Consultants

Our response rate last year was 58% and, whilst this was higher than the national average for similar Mental Health Trusts, it tells us that we didn’t hear views from 42% of our staff.

This year, we would love to see a significant increase in response rates. We have therefore decided to hold a Directorate competition and incentive to encourage as many people in each Directorate to take part.

We are offering a £2,000 prize for the directorate with the highest percentage response rates.

This is to be used for development activities or interventions across the winning Directorate. I am personally encouraging you to take time out of your working day, to fill in your staff survey and play your part in letting us know your views.

Finally, I’d like to offer you my complete assurance that the information you provide will remain strictly confidential. All personal details and individual responses will solely remain with Quality Health, which is an external provider to the Trust. There are so many good reasons to take part in the National Staff Survey. Please respond and don’t delay.

Staffordshire Urgent Care Escalation Meeting

As some of you will be aware, the pressures on our healthcare system have remained high even throughout this summer – a period which is often relatively quiet. To help remedy the situation, the Staffordshire system leaders held discussions last week with our regulator (NHSI/E). We described a variety of initiatives that will improve system flow as we enter the autumn months, including work that Combined is doing, such as the opening of our Crisis Care Centre. It is important to remember that we all have a role to play in ensuring that our county-wide urgent care arrangements deliver the best outcomes possible for our local population.   

Our Staff Friends and Family Survey

Some of our staff will receive an email this week entitled Quarter 2 – ‘Staff Friends and Family Survey’.  This survey has been sent to a 50% random sample of our staff so please do not worry if you don’t receive it this time as you will be included in the Quarter 4 staff survey instead.

May I ask that you all take this opportunity please, to leave your feedback by answering the two short questions. I would like to assure you all that your feedback and responses are completely anonymous. Should you have any queries in relation to this, please contact Marie.barley@combined.nhs.uk.