Health and Social Care

Organisational Development & Communication Strategy,
The Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust (UK)

SG - Clients - NHS - RB&H

Background

The Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, established in 1998, is based in Chelsea, London and at Harefield, near Uxbridge, Middlesex. The Trust was the result of a successful merger between two hospitals and is now the largest postgrad cardiothoracic centre in Europe. Understandably, mergers take a while to settle down and culturally; both hospital staffing teams remained subtly different and not always willing to change as fast as management required to meet stretching new government targets.

Issue

Synergy Global is proud to have partnered with the Trust on a whole range of organisational development challenges over many years. Acting as a retained change agent and executive facilitator/coach, we helped the Board with OD needs analysis and development planning, facilitated Board and Executive Awaydays, Clinical Directorate Meetings, Process Improvement Programs and a variety of training courses at all levels.

When we first started to partner with the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHT Trust (RBH) there were many outdated processes adversely effecting patient care and understandably the Board/Executive and senior clinicians were keen to embark on a service improvement strategy.

However, there was a need to engage all levels of staff (plus volunteers and patients where possible) in simplifying the process from a patient’s perspective. At the time, the UK Government were awarding Trusts with a £1m for each ‘quality star’ they achieved, so the Trust was keen to reach 3 star status as soon as possible. During our needs analysis phase, we discovered that there was a need to build leadership competencies across the organisation, particularly with the senior clinicians, who were busy caring for patients and now taking on increasingly important change leadership roles. There were several specific ‘problem areas’ that required trouble-shooting and some multidisciplinary teams that required some focused team building. There was also a need to engage and value a cross-section of middle managers, with the client wishing to retain and develop the high flyers at Directorate Level. The new CEO requested facilitation of an Executive Awayday.

Solution

Organisational Development (OD) and facilitation in partnership with internal change agents, on a major Process Improvement (PI) Initiative over a three-year period engaging well over 200 staff from all disciplines and transferring skills to over 30 teams. Tools and Techniques of PI (including process mapping) Workshops; engaging consumers in the process of decision-making; coaching the PI Team Leaders and Facilitators. PI Communications Strategy and Training of Link Communicators. The positively evaluated Senior Clinical Leadership Program (SCLP). Designing and delivering a range of Team Building Events. Trouble Shooting ++. Facilitating the development of the ‘Making A Difference’ (MAD) Multidisciplinary Network (a cross-section of 30 Middle Managers set up by Patrick Mitchell, the innovative Director of Operations). Executive Awaydays and coaching for many senior managers and clinicians from all disciplines, who were involved in leading the cultural change strategy.

Outcome

Positive evaluations from all projects and hence repeat business over 5 years, working to three different CEOs. We successfully transferred process improvement skills (based on lean methodology) to Team Leaders and eventually partnered with the internal Transformation Director to coach them to lead over 50 PI initiatives to improve service quality to patients whilst decreasing red tape for staff.

Impact of PI initiative was recognised by patients, staff and purchasers to be a success with qualitative/quantitative outcomes that resulted in the Trust being awarded 3 Stars by the UK Government. No less than 30 major processes and patient pathways were explored and improved, involving patients wherever possible. PI Team Leadership skills transferred so ongoing consulting cost reduced, as internal staff took over – led by Anne Percival, Director of Physiotherapy, who became an excellent PI facilitator and project manager. People commented on how communications had improved since our strategy began – incorporating a notice board campaign, newsletters, an eZine and more proactive use of the Trust’s informal network, formal briefings and intranet. Teams are much stronger, with MAD still going strong.

 

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