Learning and developmentThe learning and development team continues to provide a range of training courses for staff. New courses include sessions on assertiveness, presentation skills and change management. Also launched was an advanced line management modular programme which proved very popular, and a second course is now underway. Both this programme and the introduction to line management course have external accreditation, enabling staff who attend to have a recognised qualification.
An e-learning system is now in place across the Trust, allowing staff to access training modules from any computer with access to the network. The service will continue to develop throughout 2009-10.
A number of staff began National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) in business administration and health and clinical laboratory support. The Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR) medical terminology course also proved popular once again.
Funding was also awarded to staff to attend external short courses, conferences and longer courses, including MScs and PhDs. Attendance at mandatory training programmes has been exceptional with all targets being exceeded in 2008-09.
ChildcareDay nurseries are available on both sites. There are 97 places in all (49 at Royal Brompton and 48 at Harefield) which are offered to staff and colleagues from neighbouring trusts as well as to the local community.
Plans for an after-school club and a holiday play scheme, to be introduced in 2009-10, have been developed. This will help staff with children over the age of five.
Reducing sickness and absenceThe Trust’s sickness rate of 2.98 per cent compares favourably to similar acute trusts in London and is below our internal target of three per cent. The rate is now calculated using calendar days rather than weekdays, as favoured by NHS London, giving us more consistent data across the organisation and allowing us to compare our rate with other trusts more effectively. The reporting of sickness rates continues to improve.
Equality and diversityWe are rightfully proud of our diverse staff and the fact that we provide first class services to our unique and diverse patient population. We are aware, however, that the needs of our patients and staff are continually changing. We believe the equality and diversity agenda enables us to enhance the services we deliver to meet patient expectations and to continue to advance our reputation as a world class centre of clinical and academic excellence.
New HR Director takes up where Patrick Mitchell left offIn August 2008, after eight years in post, Patrick Mitchell left the Trust moving to St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, in South London. He played a significant role in ensuring the equality and diversity agenda was integrated throughout the Trust, and his contribution in this area is recognised widely. One of the key developments in this area is that equality and diversity has been embedded as a core element during appraisal for Agenda for Change staff in Bands 1-7, and also in the Trust’s Introduction to Supervision Skills and Introduction to Line management courses.
In August 2008, Carol Johnson was appointed Director of Human Resources with a remit to ensure this work continues. Initial progress has included advertising recruitment and training opportunities for permanent, temporary and volunteer staff in a number of new publications, raising awareness amongst wider audiences.
Events are planned at both sites to inform or remind staff and visitors of the Trust’s ongoing commitment to the equality and diversity agenda and the opportunities and benefits this provides to all. As always, patient and public involvement representatives will be involved. An important focus in the year ahead will be to ensure that when the Equality Bill 2009 is passed into law the Trust meets its requirements.