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Chief Nurse's Blog

Chief Nurse’s Blog

Date of release: 8 September 2020

Latest News: Ann-Marie Cannaby Blog

Welcome to the blog. This week I want to focus on a first – The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visitor Culture Survey – our maiden nurse/midwife/Health Visitor-led survey at RWT!

So much of the feedback we have been trying to capture from staff in recent times has been about COVID-19, which is understandable given the extreme circumstances and pressure so many people were placed under.

In line with our Nursing System Framework (NSF), we have clear ambitions to achieve our vision of continually improving patient experiences and outcomes, as well as creating a great place to work. 

To ensure we achieve this, our survey and feedback approach has been developed to seek out your thoughtful input. 

We wanted to do something a little different to obtain the true voices of nurses, midwives and health visitors across RWT.

I want you all to have the opportunity to share your views and help us understand what it is like to be a nurse, midwife or health visitor at RWT. 

Your opinions will help us to improve communication, leadership and the professional working environment at RWT.

I know your time is very valuable, and at times it might seem laborious to complete a questionnaire, particularly where we have spent time completing surveys about other aspects of working life previously, including recent COVID experiences. 

This survey is different, it is research based and insightfully tailored to gather information on important components of culture including engagement, leadership, behaviour and team climate. 

Appreciating that due to COVID a number of staff may have been redeployed and perhaps some continue to support other areas, the survey is to be completed in relation to the departments that you as nurses work in – rather than the areas you were redeployed to.

As regards to why we’re undertaking this survey, I have provided some background information below.

It is well evidenced in literature that a strong culture is essential to achieving high quality patient outcomes and high standards of staff wellbeing and engagement.

Culture sits at the heart of achieving a successful learning and performing organisation, while a poor culture tends to undermine what the organisation is trying to achieve. 

Undertaking a culture survey is therefore considered a key focus area to gain understanding of the nursing workforce experience and essential to knowing where to target for continuous improvement.

The research-based survey questions are designed to extract information around key indicators and contributors towards culture, including engagement, values, risk and safety, organisational change etc.

To conduct the survey we have partnered with Best Practice Australia (BPA), an independent research company with specific expertise in measuring the organisational culture of health services. BPA have conducted employee surveys in over 1,000 healthcare organisations and have accumulated over 1,700 benchmark partners. You can find out more by visiting the BPA website and their Privacy and Confidentiality Policy.

The aim is to understand responses to culture-sensitive questions from the RWT nursing staff, to compare/benchmark with similar staff in other healthcare organisations and seek to target high-impact actions that tackle what matters most to the building of cultures that sustain ‘high reliable organisations’.  

With this being the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, I would really like to appeal to staff to complete the survey to contribute to understanding the present culture and working together to build an even better culture for the future. 

There is never an ideal time to do this work, so the time to start is now to help celebrate and support nurses and midwives everywhere for organisations seeking to manage and enhance organisational change.

Following the survey, each participating ward/department will receive a comprehensive feedback report. Support will be provided in understanding and interpreting its findings and to facilitate action planning. 

Some actions may be team-focused only but others may require a Trust-wide response. It is anticipated the reports will encourage open dialogue, learning and actions at all levels to cultivate a culture that continuously evolves, to demonstrate compassion, safety, learning and improvement. Happy staff means happy patients and better outcomes.

To reassure you, the results are anonymous and confidential. A summary will be fed back through various means including workshops, pop-up clinics, at our forums and in Care to Share, our nursing newsletter. To ensure adequate result feedback and your engagement in future planning, at the end of the survey there will be a variety of interactive sessions planned locally and via Trust professional forums. More information will be made via Trust communications.

These sessions will be supported by me, our Deputy Chief Nurses and Heads of Nursing and Midwifery.

This will be an opportunity for you to gain timely feedback on what the survey results have revealed and to be part of actions that shape and inform the future development of the nursing, midwifery and health visiting workforce at the Trust. 

Also included in this will be what’s needed in the wider organisation to ensure we are supported appropriately, so RWT continues to be recognised nationally as being at the forefront of innovation and care excellence.

This is our opportunity to ensure the true voice of nursing and midwifery is heard and everyone has an opportunity to influence the future.

The survey was launched last Friday and will remain open for a four-week census period until Friday 2 October. Please take the time to complete it.

Take care,

A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham