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Innovative nurses help NHS trust win gold award

Support and transparency have been key to its success.
Hayley Citrine

Experienced nurses and a culture of 'support and transparency' have contributed to a Liverpool NHS trust winning an international people management award, its chief nurse has said.

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust which specialises in neurology, neurosurgery and pain management won its second Investors in People gold award last week.

Investors in People is the international standard for people management, testing organisations against a rigorous framework for best practice in the workplace.

Experienced staff

Director of nursing, operations and quality Hayley Citrine said: 'We have more nurses with doctorate and master's degrees than is usual.

'So we have people with experience who can see where innovation can happen.'

Ms Citrine said the trust's so-called Walton Way values - caring, dignity, openness, respect and pride - had been

Experienced nurses and a culture of 'support and transparency' have contributed to a Liverpool NHS trust winning an international people management award, its chief nurse has said.


The trust's director of nursing, operations and quality Hayley Citrine

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust – which specialises in neurology, neurosurgery and pain management – won its second Investors in People gold award last week.

Investors in People is the international standard for people management, testing organisations against a rigorous framework for best practice in the workplace.

Experienced staff

Director of nursing, operations and quality Hayley Citrine said: 'We have more nurses with doctorate and master's degrees than is usual.

'So we have people with experience who can see where innovation can happen.'

Ms Citrine said the trust's so-called Walton Way values - caring, dignity, openness, respect and pride - had been a huge factor in winning the gold award.

'Nursing is becoming a tougher job and we can't reduce the challenges, but we can support people in their jobs and improve the environment they work in,' she added.

Talking it through

The organisation runs up to six Schwartz rounds each year between clinicians, the safeguarding matron and neuro-surgeon consultants, to analyse emotional and medical challenges.

There are also four cross-departmental meetings each year to discuss how to improve quality of patient care, with all nurses and staff asked to give feedback.

Ms Citrine said: 'Staff say what keeps them awake at night and what they are proud of. This helps all front-line staff influence strategy going forward.'

The trust also has monthly 'good catch' meetings, where staff are praised for spotting potential risks to patient safety.

'I think that we have worked hard on being open-minded and having no blame culture or fear to fail,' said Ms Citrine.

Importance of well-being

Protecting the well-being of staff is a key priority, with a plethora of staff sports teams and clubs, including netball, walking clubs, pilates, art, comedy and mindfulness sessions.

Ms Citrine believes these, combined with a clear career path for band 5 nurses, have all contributed to better retention and recruitment of nurses.

'We have put things in place and invested in people coming in,' she said.

'We've put an additional band 6 sister on each ward, who sometimes works as part of the nursing numbers and other times works alongside new students, so they can get up to speed and feel confident more quickly.'

The trust has extended preceptorship to give newly qualified nurses more support and access to academic study, and has grouped new nurses and students together with a practice educator and lead nurses.


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