Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust has been shortlisted out of over 1,000 entries in Health Service Journal’s (HSJ) 2020 awards – the largest annual healthcare awards in the country. The Trust was shortlisted in the “Workforce Initiative of the Year” category for a major initiative to make the organisation a great place to work for all its 6,700 staff.
LGT’s “respect and compassion programme” was set up in early 2019 in response to staff feedback that more needed to be done to support the organisation’s workforce.
Achievements through the programme include:
- Providing a one-day training course on the Trust values to leaders in the organisation – so far, over 3,700 staff (around 75% of the leaders in the organisation) have attended the training
- Appointing wellbeing champions and mental health first aiders – nominated by staff to provide support to colleagues, LGT has appointed 150 wellbeing champions and 30 of them have received additional training to become mental health first aiders
- Achieving accreditation for flexible working from Timewise after introducing a new flexible working policy – becoming only the second NHS trust to achieve accreditation. This was achieved after feedback that more needed to be done to enable flexible working
- Appointing an independent speaking up service in June 2020 in response to staff feedback
- Improving HR processes – including ensuring that the organisational values are key to appraisals
- Launching an equality, diversity and inclusion action plan and improving the number of staff in senior roles from black, Asian, ethnic and minority groups
- Reducing vacancy levels to under 9% - from a high of 17.5% in 2018.
The respect and compassion work has been driven by a programme board that was established in early 2019, led by LGT’s Chief Executive and including executive directors, trade union representatives and representatives from the organisation’s equality, diversity and inclusion network. The Trust also established an oversight group which meets on a quarterly basis to review the work of the programme board. The oversight panel has two independent co-chairs – Roger Kline (a leading expert on improving culture in NHS organisations), and Sir Steve Bullock (former mayor of Lewisham and an experienced chair).
Ben Travis, Chief Executive, said: “We’ve been engaging with staff to ensure that our organisational values are central to everything that we do, so that all staff get the support they need. Our focus has been on listening to colleagues and focusing on the things that matter to them.
“We know that we’ve got more to do, so while it’s encouraging that we’ve been shortlisted for this award, we’ll continue work with staff to ensure that the Trust is a great place to work for everyone. This is key to our improvement journey, as we work to get it right for every patient, every time.”
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has noted significant improvements at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust since the respect and compassion programme was launched. The Trust now rated as “Good” in three of the CQC’s five domains: caring, effective and well-led. Previously the organisation was only rated as “Good” in the caring domain.
The HSJ Awards judging panel is made up of a diverse range of highly influential and respected figures within the healthcare community including: Sir Bruce Keogh, Chair, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s FT, Mark Axcell, Chief Executive, Black Country Healthcare FT and Caroline Beardall, Director of Workforce and OD, NHS England and NHS Improvement – South East.
Now in its 40th year, the HSJ Awards is the largest annual benchmarking and recognition programme for healthcare. Through a rigorous, fair and transparent judging process the awards produce a roll call of the best organisations, teams and people in the NHS and the wider health sector.
The full list of finalists for the 2020 HSJ Awards can be found on https://awards.hsj.co.uk/2020-shortlist.
Winners will be selected ahead of the ceremony, which will take place virtually in March 2021.