Organisation diagnostic process


30 / 01 / 2009

  • SHA region
  • The organisation
  • What we did and why
  • How we did it
  • The results and next steps
  • Contact details and further information
  • SHA region

    NHS North East

    The organisation

    NHS South of Tyne and Wear (NHS SOTW) is the name given to the integrated management arrangements which exist to support Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). Although each PCT remains a statutory organisation in its own right, the day to day management of the PCTs has been brought together under a single management team, integrated board and clinical executive.

    What we did and why

    In March 2008 members of the organisation development team undertook a diagnostic process to find out what staff really thought about the organisation. Over 265 staff contributed to the process, which took place over a four week period.

    The aims of the diagnostic process were:

    • to understand how staff were currently feeling about working in the NHS SOTWand to provide an opportunity for them to have their say
    • to establish if the themes identified by staff in October 2007 when they completed the NHS Staff Survey were still relevant in March 2008
    • to analyse and feedback views and comments to help inform the organisation development tactical plan and model employer framework
    • to produce an overarching report to highlight key emerging themes
    • to develop action points to improve and develop the organisation using the key themes as expressed by staff.

    How we did it

    The organisation development team collected views from members of staff from across all sites of the trusts using three key methods:

    • focus groups - 20 focus groups were held with 175 staff participating
    • graffiti walls - displayed across NHS SOTW with 207 comments made
    • online questionnaire - 90 questionnaires were completed and returned.

    The key questions asked in the diagnostic process were:

    • How do you feel about the organisation?
    • What is working well?
    • What could be done better?
    • If you could change one thing about the organisation what would it be?

    The results and next steps

    The comments from the focus groups, questionnaire and graffiti walls have been collated and reports have been written. All comments made during the process were confidential and collated anonymously.

    Staff who participated in the process felt that:

    • they were listened to
    • they were able to talk openly about their feelings about the organisation
    • their opinions were valued and taken on board.

    The organisation development team:

    • is currently feeding back to directors on the organisational themes from their directorate
    • is working with and involving staff side through the Integrated Consultative Committee)
    • has produced a newsletter on the diagnostic work to keep staff informed.

    The actions to address priority areas are included in the Organisation Development Tactical Plan, which has been signed off by the board and will also be addressed within the organisation's model employer action plan. Both documents will be available to all staff via the intranet.

    The diagnostic process will be repeated in 2009 to benchmark against the views and opinions from 2008 and to establish if improvements have been made to the areas where staff felt things could be done better.

    Contact details and further information

    Michelle Fitzgerald, Organisation Development Facilitator.

    Telephone: 01914 5297261 or email:

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