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‘Game changer’ to drive local action in the NHS

Mon 11th September, 2017
 ‘Game changer’ to drive local action in the NHS



9 NHS organisations have just undertaken the most comprehensive, radical review of how safe, effective, caring, responsive, and well-led their services are, directly through the eyes of their staff. This is a ‘game changer’ to drive local action.

Listening into Action (LiA) has developed the LiA Pulse Check and Leadership Audit to meet a critical need in the NHS, providing an unprecedented way to engage staff to discover what is wrong with the way things currently work - and what to do to change it.

For the first time, a CEO and leadership team have a comprehensive view of:

  • Specific services that staff feel are unsafe
  • Inefficiencies that compromise patient care and get in the way of people doing their jobs
  • Areas with low scores for 'caring' for staff and, therefore, patients
  • How engaging and responsive services are to the needs of patients
  • Where leaders are failing to lead.

Not since Francis’s ‘call to arms’ in his report into Mid Staffs has there been a more 'dial-shifting' opportunity to change the way the NHS works.

New insight changes everything

The beauty of the new LiA Pulse Check and Leadership Audit system is that the insight does not come from external regulators, national review bodies, or business consultants charging a fortune for a report on ‘the state of the workplace’. It comes directly from staff - the people who work every day in clinics, on wards, in theatres, out in the community, and behind the scenes supporting their clinical colleagues to deliver great care.

My Grandfather – who was a miner – used to say "You cannae dig coal at the top of the pit shaft". Management of the mining company could never understand what was going on at the coal-face unless they were down there themselves.

Well, it’s true in the healthcare sector too.

This summer, courageous CEOs in 9 pioneering organisations dared to ask the question of staff: how do YOU think we are doing? 15,000 staff chose to take 2 minutes to answer 15 questions and highlight up to 3 ideas for action in response. These Trusts are now finding out exactly where they are for the first time via a brand-new report.

The report shows:

  • How staff feel against the well-proven 15 questions (more than 160,000 NHS staff have responded to the LiA Pulse Check to date)
  • How safe, effective, caring, responsive, and well-led (CQC 5 domains) the Trust is by role and specialty, according to the staff who work there
  • A 'heat map' showing every specialty colour-coded for each of the 5 domains as CQC Red (Inadequate), Amber (Requires Improvement), Green (Good) and Dark Green (Outstanding)
  • A parallel view from 100+ leaders of how things are going across the Trust, also cut by the CQC 5 domains
  • A 'triangulated' picture with CQC, staff and leadership views side-by side.

Trust CEOs can discover where local leaders and managers are supporting staff to deliver great care, and where they are not. The system can rank Trust specialties from ‘best’ to ‘least best’ for all 5 domains separately, or as a specialty overall.

If the truism ‘what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done’ holds, then the new LiA Pulse Check and Leadership Audit is the vehicle for getting things done.

Download an example report here

Action speaks louder than words

And they're set up to fix it too. Every LiA Pulse Check response – which is completely anonymous for staff – includes the option for staff to highlight 3 things that need to change to improve the service they deliver. More than 25,000 ideas have been shared by staff in the first 9 organisations, within 3 weeks. CEOs now have the ability to align this feedback to the problem areas, engaging local leaders to 'own the problem' and take action. Listening really does lead to action. LiA does what it says on the proverbial tin!

View from 100+ leaders

The Leadership Audit - part of the 'package' - provides the CEO with a means of triangulating insight from a minimum of 100 leaders (a critical mass) with what the CQC say (in their inspection reports), and what staff say in the LiA Pulse Check. 20 questions on how leaders feel they lead, highlight what needs to change to improve the way the Trust works. The results on how leaders rate themselves against external reviews or staff perspective makes for an interesting read.

Contact us

If this feels like something you want to do, what are you waiting for? There is no better insight available to drive a new level of change across your organisation.

But don't take it from us! One Executive Director said to us recently: "We should be doing this rather than the National Staff Survey every year. It gives us everything we need, and it's local". A Trust Chair said: "This is the most comprehensive view we have ever had of the challenges we face across our Trust, and what we need to do about it”.

If you want to find out how staff feel, want to be clear on what needs fixing around the quality and safety of care at your Trust - and have the means to fix it - this is for you.

To find out more about the new LiA Pulse Check and Leadership Audit, please contact Gordon Forbes at or on 07734 812311, or Hannah Forbes at or on 07734 812644.

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