HR at the Heart of TeamWestHerts!
West Hertfordshire NHS Hospitals Trust
Paul Da Gama, Chief People Officer
Through a highly successful series of interventions led by the HR team, there has been a massive turnaround since 2015 when the Trust was put into special measures. Workforce metrics were poor with 28% Band 5 nurse vacancies, £37m agency spend bill and bottom quartile engagement scores.
The HR team embarked on a change programme, rebuilding the team from the bottom up, growing trust and respect among the various functions and changing the focus and culture. The People Strategy acted as a road map to better performance, overcoming the geographical challenges through focused engagement sessions, clear objective setting and better articulation of how each team member’s individual contribution matters. The result has been a massive turnaround and the team’s impact on the Trust’s organisational performance is plain to see, fostering a new culture of pride and excellence.
The workforce strategy included
- Listening to staff and making real changes
- A major overseas nurse recruitment programme recruiting around 250 nurses. A multi-professional year-long preceptor programme for nurses, AHPs, biomedical scientists and midwives
- Creating an ‘agency consortium’ to help manage and coordinate the approach to agency spend alongside seven other local trusts
- Overhauled information reports, driven by what managers said they needed to give easy access to data, in easy to understand and easy to share formats
- Introduced the Team West Herts brand to maximise staff engagement.
A truly transformational journey for the HR team and the Trust, supported by some significant achievements by #TeamWestHerts; the judges were particularly struck by the strong team spirit and focus on individual professional development that sits at the heart of their success.