04 / 8 / 2014 12.04pm
All trusts should ensure that staff have a robust appraisal system in place that supports staff to improve their performance. In addition, they should provide support for personal and career development. Appraisal rates have improved in recent years so that almost 90% of staff now have some form of appraisal. There is however, a lot of variation in the effectiveness of such appraisals. When they were first introduced, many appraisals were linked to the Knowledge and Skills Framework. In recent years appraisal processes have increasingly been linked to implementation of local values. In many cases these local values are based on the NHS Constitution.
The Sheffield Teaching Hospital Trust links appraisal to adoption of behaviours. The appraiser will ask for evidence of how the appraise has implemented the behaviours. The assessment is against expectations and then also in terms of potential and aspirations. In addition, over time the trust has introduced 360 degree appraisal for those in leadership roles.
Bolton Healthcare has also sought to link its appraisal system to its values. The behavioural expectations as set out clearly in a set of principles known as the Bolton Way. This applies to both employees and managers. These principles cover how staff should behave with patients and with each other. For managers it covers how to support respect in the workplace.
Trusts also seek to ensure that all staff are able to develop their potential. In addition to supporting professional training and development, trusts have implemented programmes to support leadership development.
For example, at Southern Health Trust has developed a programme open to all of its staff called ‘Going Viral’. This programme has three modules that tie in with the trust's core objectives – how to redesign services to improve quality and provide better value for money; how to integrate health and social care with partners and how to provide better outcomes and experiences for patients. The course, which takes place over six months, is delivered in nine-and-a-half day sessions. The learning groups are deliberately made up of staff from different departments so they can develop together.
Other trusts have development programmes aimed at Bands 1-4 which have historically had less access to training and development.
Initiatives to support staff personal development have also been developed in many trusts across the country, despite the challenge of funding constraints. Online and other non-residential courses have expanded in recent years. Access to development has been identified as a priority for NHS staff.
A number of trusts have also sought to improve line manager support for staff. The Staff Survey shows a modest improvement in the support from line managers though this is variable. Organisations that have developed line manager development programmes include Mersey Care Trust, Lancashire Hospitals and the Walton Centre for Neurology.