OD Superstar - Rachael Hooker

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15 / 12 / 2014 12.01am

Our final OD Superstar of 2014 is Rachael Hooker, Assistant OD Lead at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Crewe. This is Rachael’s first role in the NHS, having previously worked as a teacher in both secondary and pre school education and as a NVQ Assessor.

1. How would you describe your role in the organisation

My role at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MCHFT) is as Assistant OD Lead, which involves leading internal development programmes, staff survey, Investors in People, staff engagement, mentoring and facilitation. What I love about my job is that no two days are the same; one day I could be facilitating training and the next I could be analysing data. The beauty of my role is that it enables me to work across all levels of the organisation from ‘board to ward’ helping to make a difference to both staff and patients.

2. What does OD mean to you?  

For me, OD is about working with the organisation and staff to enable the organisation to change and achieve greater effectiveness.

 3. What OD projects are you most proud of? 

In the last 18 months I have taken over as programme lead for some of the trust’s internal leadership development programmes. This has allowed me to adapt existing programmes but also set up a new six month programme, for staff in bands 3 and 4, called ‘Learning to Lead’ after it was identified that there were no real development opportunities for staff working at that level. The first cohort completed in April 2014 and the second started in October. These programmes give me a great deal of pride and satisfaction knowing that I am helping to provide staff with the tools and techniques they need to improve how they carry out their roles which ultimately has an impact on the quality of patient care we provide.

I am also particularly proud of helping the trust to achieve a 70 per cent response rate in the 2013 national staff survey, which was the second highest response rate for an acute trust in England.

4. What would you like to learn more about? 

I love learning but if I had to choose, it would be to learn more about practical OD Tools so that I can further support teams and individuals.

5. Who inspires you most? 

Our OD Team at MCHFT is very small – there are only two of us! So I would say my line manager Lisa Gresty, Assistant Director of OD and Learning inspires me. Her knowledge and passion for OD and the organisation is phenomenal. Lisa is an excellent role model and provides challenge and encouragement to bring out the best in me in order that I can do my job to the best of my ability, which will in turn benefit the staff and patients at MCHFT.

She has given me opportunities to develop not only myself but also my role, handing over responsibility of some of the internal OD initaitives and diagnostics.

I am also inspired by the staff at Mid Cheshire Hospitals who do a fantastic job every day, knowing they are making huge difference to our patients and service users.

6. What’s your one 'must read' book / article / website on OD? 

I don’t have a particular OD book but I would recommend a book that we encourage the participants on our internal leadership programmes to read called ‘Who Moved my Cheese’ by Dr Spencer Johnson, which is about change and how to anticipate, adapt and enjoy it, which is more relevant than ever given the current changes the NHS is going through.

7. What would you like to achieve in 2014? 

I would like the trust to improve its 2013 response rate of 70 per cent in the national staff survey.

8. What would your motto be? 

I have two: ‘It will all work out in the end!’ and ‘Keep calm and eat cake!’

9. What advice would you give to a budding OD professional? 

Network, network, network!

10. What is your favourite sandwich? 

That depends on what mood I’m in! I have two favourites: Chicken and avocado on crusty brown bread or a toasted tuna melt. Yummy!

If you have any questions about Rachael and their work, then please feel free to connect with her on

Twitter: @rachaelhooks82

Email:  rachael.hooker@mcht.nhs.uk

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