#OurNHSPeople – engagement and ideas about the NHS People Plan

The first of (hopefully) many Twitter discussions on working in the NHS took place yesterday evening, 8 July, run by the team at NHS Horizons, and hosted by Prerana Issar and Navina Evans. When Prerana was appointed as the new NHS Chief People Officer, she committed to wide-ranging engagement on ‘Making the NHS the best place to work’, a key part of the NHS People Plan.

As part of this engagement, having a conversation on social media is clearly popular. Nearly 2,000 people took part in the tweet chat, from GPs and nurses (including someone who qualified in 1966) to support workers, students, HR staff, mental health workers and NHS Trust Chief Execs.

Screenshot from Twitter with details of the NHS tweet chat

The chat asked four questions:
Why do you work for the NHS?
What behaviours matter in making the NHS the best place to work?
What would make a difference for you in your NHS work and workplace?
What is your one big idea for making the NHS the best place to work?

The answers and suggestions were interesting, and a few stood out for me.

Prerana Issar: “my one big idea for making the NHS a great place to work is FLEXIBLE WORKING!! Whoop whoop we need flex working for every stage of life, for every family type, for preventing burnout, for increasing joy.”

Martin Hancock: “I’m hardly impartial, but making great talent management practice an enduring part of the fabric of the NHS – all staff being supported to fulfil their potential, whether to be a CEO of the future, or simply do a great job where they are because we know that this gives people a sense of self worth, personal fulfilment & engagement, this leads to better health & wellbeing for all staff, which has a direct impact on the quality of leadership, culture and the care patients/service users get

Helen Bevan: “My one big idea for making the NHS the best place to work? The NHS Long Term Plan has a very big theme on personalised care for patients. We need personalised care for staff as well. We are not widgets in a standardised system”.

Mark Cubbon: “There needs to be greater recognition of the pressures experienced by many of our staff, related to current workforce challenges. We also need a deeper appreciation of the importance of kindness, civility and respect in relation to health and well-being (individuals and teams)”

Karen Bloomfield: “I think what would make a difference for me is giving autonomy and trust to provide opportunities for people to implement their ideas and bring about positive change – staff know what isn’t working well and how they’d like to improve it – co-production with patients and citizens essential”.

Pauline Smith: “I work for the NHS because I wanted to work somewhere that actively supported a better and more equal society – opportunities are so many you can spend your whole working life exploring, working with people who are driven to make things better for patients, bags of energy and lots of fun”.

Sam Allen: “What behaviours matter? Honesty, absence of ego (no room for egos in healthcare), kindness, growth mindset (always room for improvement), humility, courage, trust (don’t micromanage)”

I’m looking forward to the next two #OurNHSPeople chats on Monday 12 August at 7pm, on the subject of great NHS teams, and on Monday 9 September also at 7pm, on a subject very close to my heart; what NHS staff want from their leaders.