Using the simplified KSF at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

SAVE ITEM
case-study

15 / 12 / 2011

The organisation

SHA region

What we did and why

How we did it

Results and next steps

Tips for other trusts

Contact details

 

The organisation

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) is a large acute teaching hospital trust incorporating three hospital sites: the Leicester General, Glenfield and Royal Infirmary hospitals.
Our team is made up of more than 10,000 staff providing a range of services primarily for the one million residents of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.  Our specialist treatment and services in cardio-respiratory diseases, cancer and renal disorders reach a further two to three million patients from the rest of the country. Our core values are:
• We focus on what matters most
• We treat others how we would like to be treated
• We are passionate and creative in our work
• We do what we say we are going to do
• We are one team and we are best when we work together.

SHA region

East Midlands

What we did and why

The strategic aims of UHL are to go from “good to great” and to achieve FT status.
We believe that ‘Caring at its Best’ is about giving our patients the best possible experience. An effective appraisal system that supports staff to deliver high quality care to patients can help deliver this. 
UHL had implemented the original KSF across the organisation from 2005 and promoted use of the e-KSF system. Although used extensively in certain areas, it was apparent that in some areas the KSF had not added value, and in some places it had become a barrier to the appraisal process.

Following publication of the simplified KSF in late 2010, UHL undertook a review of the KSF across  the whole organisation with the aim of simplifying appraisal and  getting back to staff having a meaningful conversation.  We acknowledged that KSF outlines, while an integral part of the appraisal process, needed to be simpler and easier to work with.  A sub-group of representatives from the appraisal leads group worked in partnership to simplify the KSF outlines for all staff and at the same time embed the organisations five values.

How we did it

In the period from January 2011 to May 2011, the sub-group took the new simplified framework and produced a generic set of KSF outlines for all staff, one outline per pay band. Benchmarks were taken from the suite of original KSF outlines to determine appropriate levels for each dimension. The trust values were linked with the core dimensions and behaviours associated with the values and indicators set out in the simplified KSF. Our appraisal paperwork was also amended to embrace the new simplified approach.

A wider group of appraisal leads were consulted and informed throughout the changes, with feedback being sought from representatives of all divisions and directorates.

A number of changes had been previously embedded in our appraisal process in early 2010 and we were acutely aware of the change fatigue in the organisation with relation to appraisal. We were determined that, once launched and embedded, the 2011 simplifications would ease any anxieties as this was definitely change for the better. 

We also acknowledged in our communications that some areas across UHL had worked hard to fully embrace the KSF and e-KSF and we did not want this effort to be devalued.

One of our main concerns was that removing the specificity from KSF outlines could potentially weaken the appraisal process if job-specific standards were not reviewed at appraisal. To address this, we incorporated a specific review of professional and local standards into the process.

The project overall was supported by the trust’s director of human resources and the staff engagement steering group with staff side representation.

In June 2011 an appropriate set of outlines were printed for all teams and mailed out to team leaders and managers to share with their teams. Further promotional activity was undertaken to raise awareness of the simplified KSF outlines using intranet, mail shots and appraisal roadshows in staff restaurant areas.

Results and next steps

Feedback received from users of the new simplified KSF outlines has been extremely positive. Many are relieved the original KSF outlines are not required any longer and myths about the requirement for portfolios have been quashed once and for all.

We will continue to monitor the success of the simplification of KSF, through our local staff polling and the national staff attitude survey and through ongoing user feedback and appraisal audit.

Tips for other trusts

What worked for us was making sure we spoke to people who were both for and against KSF when simplifying our outlines and appraisal.
We used the flexibility of the simplified KSF guidance to our advantage and within the simplified KSF dimensions personalised all skill indicators to read “I”, this has aided the understanding of the statements and outlines for the user.

Contact details

Trudy Stringfellow - Training & Development Manager
Learning and Organisational Development Team
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

0116 2502809



 

 

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