From a health and care perspective, England has been divided into 44 areas known as integrated care systems (ICSs) or emerging ICSs for those a little later in their development. The health and care partnership across Norfolk & Waveney STP is one such emerging ICS. It’s aim, ultimately, is to help health providers and commissioners, social care and the voluntary and community sector to work collectively, as a whole system, to improve the health of people living in the area.
The collective workforce of all these organisations is a major component of making the system work successfully. The system leaders agreed that nurturing a positive and committed workforce is essential in providing outstanding care and making the transformational changes that are needed to improve and sustain the population’s health.
Employees and volunteers across Norfolk and Waveney were experiencing different cultures, different standards, different expectations and different conditions depending on their employer or their area of work. They also reported different levels of resilience and fulfilment at work.
The emerging ICS presented an opportunity to build a shared workforce strategy to improve the culture and performance of the sector, and in turn, improve the overall wellbeing of the region. Such a strategy can focus in on issues to tackle some of the major challenges surrounding recruitment, retention and leadership.
Clever Together was recommended to the leadership team, following the success of our work with one of the organisations within the region. Specifically, our help in enhancing internal staff engagement and having achieved an impressive culture change by giving voice to staff.
Our expertise in culture change and staff engagement, combined with the use of technologies to give people voice was seen as a powerful opportunity to create a brand-new channel to listen to staff from across the region. So, we were commissioned to design and host the first ever region-wide staff engagement exercise.
Our approach was to understand the issues faced by health and care professionals from a wide range of perspectives, and seek to engage all members of the health and social care workforce, whether paid or unpaid, across all the various settings of employment.
We co-created a staff engagement brand – #WeCareTogether – with a cross-section of local staff. Then designed and executed a multi-channel communications strategy to generate interest from health and care workers from every corner of the health economy.
We designed a digital platform to host a series of online workshops and to promote and report upon a range of face-to-face activities, including workshops (designed by our team and hosted by us and our clients) and on-site activation teams to engage directly with staff.
We won the involvement of 1,000+ people from across the region, from 91 organisations.
We facilitated conversations focussed on:
Our deep-dive analyses revealed shared insight between the organisations and professions, which highlighted areas of action for the region’s leaders. From this, we distilled a shared narrative about where and how to drive collective action to improve both the care for patients and the experience for staff.
Our efforts were incorporated into a regional “People Plan”, which sets out the priorities for addressing the issues facing the workforce and how to make Norfolk and Waveney an attractive place to work, to develop professionally and to provide outstanding care.