Sarah Robertson, Clinical Psychologist

Jo Potier, Associate Director of  Organisational Development

 and Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Jeanette Chamberlain, Staff Advice Liaison Service Manager

Judges’ view
Passion and belief in the principles behind the work they have done. Comprehensive programme of support, underpinned with psychological principles, has put strong foundations in place through leadership development with ways to encourage staff to talk more openly and seek support when needed.

Bringing psychology to engagement in multiple initiatives enabled them to foster a culture of psychological safety through story telling and compasssionate leadership. Focusing on the emotional impact of work and caring for others has improved  employee engagement, staff wellbeing, and ultimately quality of care. Bringing psychology into organisational development gave new ways of understanding how staff were feeling, what they needed, and ways to build systemic resilience. Intense team-by-team debriefing led by the new lead for Organisational Development assisted by the Listening into Action and Freedom to Speak Up leads, gave people an opportunity to tell their story and be heard.

Key points:

  • Executive support is key to the development and success of initiatives
  • By organically building relationships developed to respond to need, became lead clinical partner with the National Unit for Critical Incident Decision Making, sharing learning and the Ground TRUTH tool
  • Staff Advice Liaison Service provides model that could be adopted by other Trusts.
  • Service attracted regional and national interest as a best practice model including funding from NHSE.


No decision about me, without me – our response to enhance employee engagement
University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust

In spring 2020 UK hospitals were asked to redeploy doctors into acute, patient-facing areas. Doctors were moved with little notice onto ‘military-style’ rotas, training was disrupted and staff sickness and absence rose. To avoid this, they developed agreed principles for redeployment (adopted nationally), planned a phased redeployment for all trainees using a democratic system and promoted staff wellbeing. With careful planning, redeployments reduced to 66. All redeployed staff had adequate notice of changes, no leave was cancelled and all redeployed junior doctors were able to maintain their existing rota patterns. Patient safety was assured.

Judges’ view

Good use of principles to get to the new process and a great example of co-creation which generated more positive ownership.


Diane Poulson, Head of Medical Staffing & Recruitment

Dr Will Carroll, Consultant Paediatrician

Emma Mellor, Medical Staffing Manager

Adam Ingleton, Junior Doctor in Training, BMA Representative

Abby Mackintosh, Junior Doctor in Training

Nightingale London
Nightingale Hospital London

The Nightingale Hospital, set up rapidly in March/ April 2020 to “save as many lives as possible for London” during the pandemic faced a huge challenge of staff engagement– new roles, demanding shift patterns wearing full PPE, rapidly deployed teams, unfamiliar environment, none of the usual infrastructure. The leadership team set out a clear leadership model whereby anyone could ask anyone else anything. At the daily clinical governance meeting all voices were heard and rapid improvement could be made, with a buddy system, end of shift huddle, on-site mental health support team, and  a 24 hour call centre.

Judges’ view

Great example of being able to mobilise a team from different places to deliver a great outcome. Great examples of how small things can make a difference to how people feel.


Nightingale Workforce team and Barts Health workforce team 

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