Francis: How NHS Employers is supporting you

To take forward the recommendations following the Francis review, NHS Employers is supporting the NHS on three key areas:
  • emotional wellbeing
  • staff engagement
  • organisational development. 

Emotional wellbeing in the NHS

There are two specific areas of work we have been undertaking in this area, they both focus on supporting employers to improve emotional and mental health in the workplace.

  • Following a great deal of consultation and engagement with a wide range of NHS trusts we have produced a NHS specific defining means of demonstrating what emotional wellbeing looks like in an NHS context and from this we developed and continue, with the support of pilot sites to scope a behavioural toolkit. The toolkit supports NHS staff to open up to difficult conversations regarding wellbeing at work and it focuses on  interaction with team/colleagues, and interaction with patients. We are also creating a behavioural measure and care pathway for employees in the NHS which is going to be rolled out along with the toolkit above in the summer of 2015. We soft launched the toolkit at the Robertson Cooper annual conference in London on the 12 November 2014 and will continue to scope the final version in conjunction with our learning from pilot sites.
  • Back in March 2014, we asked 20 trusts to take part in a confidential telephone interview to help us develop a better understanding of how mental health is perceived, managed and supported across the NHS. An amazing 37 trusts took part which was fantastic in helping us gather the information we needed.
  • You can view a prototype of the emotional wellbeing toolkit on our tools, resources and further information pages.

The results of the interviews fed into the overall research and development of a 'train the trainer' package to help increase capability and confidence in creating a mentally healthy workplace looking specifically at the emotional wellbeing of staff and how that impacts within the workplace, create a work environment which supports positive mental health and support employees who have emotional or mental health needs.  We were commissioned from the Department of Health to train 100 people (1 person from each trust) across NHS trusts in England. 

Pilot sites were selected to help shape and scope the training programme based on their direct experience during the pilot phase. Data gathered from their learning will help further scope materials and the way in which we deliver training.

We ran a series of open days across England for potential trainers to come and find out what the training was all about. The feedback from delegates was very positive and as a result the 100 places that we had funded very quickly filled up. Training is currently being rolled out.


Staff engagement

Staff engagement is a key factor in the delivery of compassionate care. To help increase engagement levels we developed a new programme designed to assist with developing the capacity of line managers (supervisors and team leaders) to improve staff engagement. It is based on the Engaging Manager 2 model developed by the Institute of Employment Studies. We piloted this line manager training programme in a small number of organisations and the training is due to be completed in February 2015. If you would like any further information on the staff engagement work please email 

For more information about staff engagement see our dedicated staff engagement web pages.

Organisational development

To support the NHS in achieving a culture change we developed a comprehensive programme of organisational development (OD) activity which complements our DoOD (Do Organisational Development) programme.

We worked with 10 NHS Trusts across England looking at Culture Change and developed an OD Culture Change Tool with Pointers and Practices. This is also available as a smartphone app which was released on Thursday 20 November and is available to download from iTunes and Google Play. The tool enables participants to get a snap shot of their current OD position and highlight areas for development.

We worked with Southampton University to provide academic input in the OD Culture Change tool and this tool has been co-created and based in OD practice. It has been refined and tested by each of the 10 trusts. Through the development of the tool there has been a process of shared learning and development for the organisations through the work e.g. buddy and mentoring, collaboration and sharing practice at the events. The organisations have developed themselves and each other by being involved in developing the tool.

We held an event in London on Thursday 20 November 2014 to showcase the learning from the organisations, launch the resources and engage NHS organisations in action focused conversations on Culture Change. We have recorded podcasts at the event and sharing that via our usual channels.

To find out more visit our organisational development web pages. 

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