Engaging the NHS workforce in real time

Digital Health

Abstract

Open Lab partnered with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust on this project aiming to understand and improve the staff experience across the Trust, while also building on the quality of the patient experience.

Method

The project has used innovative technologies such as Open Lab's ThoughtCloud and Gabber to capture and understand staff experience in real-time.

Takeaways

The findings from the project will inform improvement pilots led by eight teams across the trust, focused on improving staff experience and performance.

This project funded by The Health Foundation led by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with Open Lab (Newcastle University), and evaluated by The Picker Institute aims to understand and improve the staff experience across the Trust, while also building on the quality of the patient experience.

It uses an innovative approach, supported by new technologies, to capture and understanding staff experience in real time.

Of the 1.4 million people who work in the NHS in England, more than 50% say they are unable to meet all of the conflicting demands on their time at work, and nearly 40% say that they’ve been unwell as a result of stress at work.

Staff burnout in the NHS leads to low levels of staff engagement, which affects quality of patient care, patient experience, and staff and patient safety.

At Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, there are currently limited way to have a meaningful, ongoing conversation with staff on what can be done to improve the workplace environment, and where improvement efforts should be focused. This project aims to address these gaps.

The project aims to integrate real-time understanding of staff experience with Northumbria’s well-established real-time programme for capturing patient experience. The organisation-wide programme will capture everyday experiences of the workforce and introduce new technologies where possible to help capture these experiences in busy working environments.

As many staff as possible will be encouraged to respond an annual staff experience survey and to quarterly pulse surveys. Programme infographics and a reporting framework will be deliberately appreciative, celebrating success and learning from what works, as well as where needs improvement.

This evidence will inform improvement pilots led by eight teams across the trust, focused on improving staff experience and performance. Team results will be analysed and interpreted independently, and correlated with real-time patient experience measures, sickness and absence levels, team-level patient complaints, and safety data.

Takeaways

  • The NHS staff experience team is using Gabber to capture weekly feedback from 320 junior doctors.
  • Thoughtcloud is being used by an NHS trust to gather important feedback on staff experiences during the COVID-19 outbreak.