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LiA teams feeling 33% more valued at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Thu 23rd January, 2014
LiA teams feeling 33% more valued at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Michelle Cloney, LiA Lead, reports back from UHL...

In April 2012 we did a Trust-wide LiA Pulse Check® to get a snapshot view of ‘how engaged and how valued our staff feel right now’. This is a vital part of the journey for all LiA Trusts and provides a baseline to compare against over time.

We sent the LiA Pulse Check out far and wide, and lobbied staff to respond with assurance that it would lead to actions and changes at Trust, divisional and team levels over the coming months. We had a fantastic response from 2885 staff across all levels and roles within three weeks – they really wanted to answer these questions and suspended any disbelief that this would not be ‘yet another initiative’.

We wanted to do things differently and this was part of a heartfelt commitment to engage and empower our staff to make the changes they want to see for the benefit of patients. As we started out, we felt it was important to find out what our staff really thought about the Trust and what gets in their way. This would drive changes that they actually want – rather than those we think they want – and encourage them to come on board with a new way of working that is about leading positive changes in their own areas, with the full backing of the Trust.

The LiA Pulse Check was one way to connect with staff quickly and widely, and a catalysing round of listening events - ‘LiA Staff Conversations’ - hosted by the Chief Executive was another. The LiA Pulse Check we sent out comprised 10 questions - this has since increased to 15 and now includes the friends and family questions - and it takes only 60 seconds to complete either electronically or on paper. Unsurprisingly, we had to lie down when we saw the results. This is the same story across all Trusts and shows the size of the problem and, critically, the size of the opportunity. So the challenge was set… could we empower and engage our teams by helping them to work the LiA way?

After an initial 12 weeks of intensive listening, our focus shifted to the action. As well as deciding and delivering Trust-wide ‘quick wins’ and ‘enabling our people schemes’ to help unblock the way, we actively supported frontline teams to adopt the LiA way of working – following an intuitive, ‘by us, for us’, outcome-driven way of working, over an initial 20 weeks. Everything about this felt different from usual, and the focus was on delivering ‘step changes’ in every area. Their stories then became the ‘fuel’ for wider spread to the ‘Next 20’ LiA teams while the first ones refocused and moved forward themselves. This organic spread based on a growing, local evidence base and inspirational stories is what LiA is all about.

After their initial round of working ‘the LiA way’, we asked these teams to repeat the LiA Pulse Check and their responses had shifted beyond our wildest dreams. The results included a 33% uplift in how valued staff feel, a 30% increase in believing we provide high quality services for patients, and a 28% improvement in terms of the effectiveness of communication between management and staff.

Staff stated they were: “Proud to be part of the LiA Journey”, “Very positive that change is happening at the Trust”, and “Optimistic for patients and staff – a win, win for both”.

This is just the beginning of our journey. Having only started in May 2012, we already have more than 30 teams (pathways, departments, service areas) working this way, with more following soon, and we are now working even harder to build on what we have started and embed this as ’the way we do things around here’. In a recent CQC ‘new format’ inspection, LiA was mentioned ‘relentlessly’ by our staff who talked about UHL as ‘a great place to work’. We are proud, but we will not be complacent… this is just the beginning.

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