It has been a really interesting experience.
There are two main observations that I wanted to share. Firstly, just how interested staff were in what we were doing. Everyone we spoke to was not only constructive in their feedback but was very aware of the importance of having a single purpose and identity behind which they could all unite. Much of what we shared was of a visual nature. It’s easy and understandable to make subjective judgments about ‘pictures’. Some will often say they don’t like something but not really know why. The responses we got were well informed and objective – often with suggestions and feedback about how things could be improved.
Secondly, how passionate everyone was about their organisation and the NHS. We spoke to a broad cross section of staff - clinical through to administrative - yet the commitment was just as strong and united. And although many had some issues with how things were, everyone’s loyalty and belief in the Trust and the NHS was unmistakable. The NHS is going through some radical changes but it’s refreshing that with all the problems that are often faced, they are being confronted by staff hell bent on delivering fantastic healthcare.
This exercise reiterated to us that you ignore sharp end staff at your peril – they not only give you important direction but also their support is vital. And that NHS staff are totally engaged with their organisation and ready and willing to make things work in order to protect this great institution of ours.