Improving Working Lives Practice Plus


03 / 02 / 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 South West

    The organisation

    St Michael's Hospital is part of the United Bristol Healthcare Trust, one of the first NHS Trusts to be awarded IWL Practice Plus status. The hospital provides a midwifery service, employing around 200 staff working full and part time.

    What we did and why

    Representatives from each ward and unit meet once a month for about an hour as an IWL working group to raise concerns gathered from staff and discuss initiatives to address them. The group, about 10 in all, comprises a true cross section of staff from cleaners to senior midwives.

    How we did it

    Meeting times are varied to accommodate the different shift patterns of staff within the group, and membership of the group changes slowly as some people drop out and others join. Minutes of each meeting - chaired by the Assistant HR Manager - are circulated to Heads of Department and Ward Managers and posted on the IWL notice board, as well as fed back to the Trust's Executive.

    The results and next steps

    Whilst looking at the whole IWL agenda and sharing best practice, the group has been particularly effective in improving physical working conditions. Fridges have been provided for staff to store food when the hospital restaurant shuts at 2pm. Water coolers have been provided for staff on the wards. Radios, books and a well-stocked garden are further evidence of the group drawing on ideas and contacts to make the best use of money available for improving the working environment. The group also had input to the redesign of the hospital reception area.

    Another issue being discussed is how to improve car park provision at the hospital, especially for night staff. Following consultation with the security team and Estates Department, more midwives now have car park passes.

    Contact details and further information

    For further information please contact Oonagh Fairey, Assistant HR Manager.


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