Written by: Matt Giblin

Redefining Resolution in the NHS by Matt Giblin

24 Sep 2020

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Matt Giblin
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Surely now isn’t the time for NHS Leaders to be considering a radical overhaul to longstanding policies and procedures?

The current pandemic poses the most challenging time that our NHS workers will have ever faced, I think we all realise that. The pressure upon healthcare leaders is of course, paramount and it may be tempting to focus all energy and efforts on clinical provision, while putting off unnecessary changes.

Truly, it is now, more than ever, that all healthcare organisations should consider transforming their grievance and disciplinary procedures. Join us on Tuesday 20th October to find out how.

The huge toll that the Coronavirus pandemic has placed on our frontline health workers is widely recognised. While so many of us have made every effort to show our gratitude and support this hasn’t been sufficient to prevent thousands of NHS staff from having thoughts of leaving the profession. So much so that an IPPR/YouGov study revealed that more than one in five healthcare workers are more likely to leave their role after the pandemic than they were prior to the outbreak.

If such survey responses were acted upon, of the 1.5 million staff working for the NHS, 300,000 staff would leave their posts. This would be catastrophic. Not only during the current pandemic, but the consequences would be devastating across the entirety of the healthcare system that so many of us take for granted. Staff shortages… longer waiting lists… overworked doctors and nurses… the list goes on.

The same study revealed that, perhaps unsurprisingly, staff mental health has also greatly deteriorated. Half of healthcare workers reported a worsening of their mental wellbeing since the Covid-19 crisis began.

Thankfully, the government are responding well. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has promised that nurses and other NHS staff are given a “fair reward” for their enhanced efforts and stresses during the pandemic, while the Care fit for Carers initiative is helping to ensure that our healthcare heroes are themselves being taken care of.

But what role can we, in the HR profession play in supporting our frontline staff? Workplace conflict has been a huge problem within the NHS, long before the pandemic began. Robert Francis’ Freedom to Speak Up Review publicly aired shocking findings. Very often staff do not feel safe to raise concerns. When they do so, they must endure harrowing investigative processes, or even face bullying. Traditional grievance and disciplinary procedures can be toxic, generating a blame- culture whereby staff end up avoiding conflict altogether.

The NHS cannot thrive without conflict. Concerns must be reported, and issues dealt with to ensure that mistakes are learnt from. Very often, when conflict could quickly be resolved informally, traditional policies get in the way of letting this happen. Conflict usually gets worse before it gets better when a formal investigation happens. The win-lose process drifts people further apart and this division spreads within the workplace to create a destructive blame culture.

But what is the alternative? Register for our exclusive conference to find out.

The TCM group have supported numerous NHS (and other) organisations in transforming the way they handle workplace conflict. The hallmark of this has been the incorporation of our ground-breaking Resolution Framework ™. This replaces traditional procedures and promotes the use of early resolution methods such as Mediation, wherever possible. This modern, more progressive approach is pioneering in developing a values-based, outcomes oriented and person-centred system within your healthcare trust. It underpins the development of a fair and just culture.

Under the framework, staff are encouraged to air out their disputes at the earliest possible stage. Very often, this can be all that is needed to restore a functional working relationship. Whereby this doesn’t happen, a range of more structured early resolution methods (including mediation) can be used. A triage process is used to assess each individual case against a set of predefined criteria, where only the most serious incidences are referred to formal procedures. Independent advisors provide impartial advice and guidance throughout for staff members involved.

Not only does such a resolution framework limit the referral of cases to costly and timely formal processes, but it helps transform the overall culture throughout your organisation. Less blame, more empathy, more compassion, and a reduced fear of speaking up.

The NHS is starting to realise that the pandemic is not the time to wait to make much needed changes. Earlier this year, London Ambulance Service decided to spend part of their Coronavirus emergency fund on an investment into developing their Resolution Framework™. We’ve been supporting over 300 health and social care organisations to incorporate early resolution, since 2001.

We know that a large proportion of the NHS still needs our help. That’s why, on Tuesday 20th October, we’d like to invite you to our online conference, entitled ‘Redefining Resolution in the NHS’. TCM founder and CEO, David Liddle will be hosting the event, alongside an exciting and diverse panel of special guests. Together we’ll share our collective experience, with recent case study examples, to show how you can play a pivotal role, in making the decision to redefine resolution within your NHS trust.

Limited free conference spaces (worth £195 + VAT) remain available to NHS leaders.