The staff support forum


29 / 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 West Midlands

    The organisation

    Warwickshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) was set up in October 2006, incorporating South Warwickshire, North Warwickshire and Rugby PCTs. Warwickshire PCTs area stretches from the towns of Polesworth, Atherstone, Nuneaton and Bedworth in the north of the county across to Rugby and south through Kenilworth, Warwick, Leamington as far Shipston in the south and Alcester in the west. The annual budget of the PCT is £700 million and it employs 1960 staff

    What we did and why

    Warwickshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) set up a staff support forum that aims to identify and develop policies, processes and strategies to promote a supportive working environment for staff.

    It was originally set up to help staff through a change management programme brought about by commissioning a patient led NHS. It now has a far more proactive role to engage staff and improve their working lives.

    How we did it

    The forum works in partnership with staff side representatives and meets on a regular basis. Members of the forum are from a range of disciplines and include staff from the commissioning and provider arm. Funds are made available from employers savings from salary sacrifice schemes, such as childcare vouchers, cycle schemes (and formerly the home computing initiative).

    The forum does not have formal reporting mechanisms, but the HR representatives make sure that issues are raised through the HR and OD board sub-committee. The chairman of the PCT is an active member of the forum and acts as its champion at board level.

    The forum is delivering a number of initiatives to support staff, for example:

    • a cycle scheme which enables staff to make savings on a bike for work
    • production of a carers hand book
    • supporting the 8-week challenge, an initiative piloted by the PCT to promote healthy working and living
    • arranging pre-retirement workshops
    • providing harassment and bullying awareness training sessions.
    • the long service awards and chairman's recognition award for individuals and team working.

    The forum is also responsible for putting together and taking forward the action plans to address issues highlighted in the NHS staff survey results. Regular progress reports are submitted to the HR and OD sub-committee of the board.
    The staff support forum has its section on the PCTs intranet site, which is used to post all the information about the above activities and initiatives as well as providing signposts to useful external links.

    The results and next steps

    The board has been supportive and made some clear recommendations about where they want more action taken. Forum members are now exploring ways to involve staff and get regular feedback that will inform the agenda for future meetings.

    The next staff survey will be the first time the PCT has been able to do a year-on-year comparison. The forum will be actively involved in promoting the survey, conducting focus groups and developing an action plan.

    Contact details and further information

    Carol Innes, Head of Recruitment and Retention

    Telephone: 01926 493491, ext 421 or email:

    Maggie O'Rourke, Human Resources Manager

    Telephone: 01926 493491, ext 499 or email: Maggie.O'

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