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Welcome to my message this week. Now you'll have noticed this is different. Normally we either write a message which you see out on Aspire or we video a message. But this time we're trying something different - a podcast. So if I might I wanted to speak for a few moments around our recently published staff survey results.

Now, I know that sometimes you guys feel fed up with completing all these surveys but it's really important that you take the opportunity, as you have done in numbers this year, to give feedback on how it feels to be a part of Team ASPH and to work within this organisation, because only by hearing your feedback can we know where we need to improve together and celebrate the good stuff!

So I'm really pleased to say that this year above average numbers of you, so when compared to other NHS acute organisations, contributed and fed back in this year's staff survey. So that's a great indicator that you guys are, as I know you all are, interested and wanting us to hear your feedback.

And there is some really great news in our staff survey feedback. So the thing that I'm really really thrilled to see is that the overall what is called the staff engagement score, which is a compilation score covering three areas; Advocacy, Motivation and your ability to contribute to Improvement. What's so brilliant is that when you look at these three areas year on year since 2012, these areas have increased which is absolutely extraordinary and in some of the scores have increased vastly.

So I'll give you an example, one of the questions that relates to advocacy asks whether the care of patients and service users, our patients, is our organisations top priority and in 2012 you reported that around I would say 62% of those of you that responded felt that the organisation was focused on delivering as a priority for patients. And now I would say looking at the graphs it's around 79% of you that responded saying that you would say that we are really focused as a team on meeting patients' needs as our top priority. And that's really great to see because of course last year we published the Together We Care strategy with its vision around fantastic patient outcomes and experience and safety.

So thank you all very much for being so positive around that question and the whole group around advocacy, so that's the good news. Now inevitably there's areas we need to do more work on which is absolutely right because there's always an opportunity to continuously improve. So I wanted to just take a minute to talk through the areas where we could improve the team experience of working at ASPH and the first area is respect at work. And fundamentally this is about how we treat each other, how we treat our patients and how our patients treat us. What we're seeing within those scoring areas is that we aren't making the improvements we would wish to with regard to in particular bullying and harassment in the workplace. Now, you will know that we've previously messaged and blogged around the developing respect campaign.

And we've used your feedback around the themes that you wanted us to focus on to develop the respect campaign and the campaign will be launched soon after Easter. And it will be a combination of materials that you'll be able to put up in your workplace to remind you but importantly to remind patients about our expectations for behaviour in your organisation and also advice on where to go if you if you experience a poor scenario.

Now one of the most exciting pieces of sort exploration innovation that were going to try in the next few months is a body cam pilot. Now some of you will have heard me talk about this before this relates to and comes from conversations I've had with police officers who talked to the huge benefit that police officers have experienced when they've started to wear body-worn cameras in relation to the experience they have with members of the public in challenging situations. So we thought we'd lift some of that learning and see how we could apply it here at Ashford and St Peter's. And so we'll be rolling out that that pilot over the coming months in a number of areas, but certainly Accident and Emergency, Intensive Care and potentially one of our Dementia Wards.

And really the idea is not to record evidence of a poor interaction with a colleague or and member of the public or a patient, but really to use the fact that you're wearing the bodycam as a deescalating tactic. And obviously they'll be training and will need to work through that but I'm quite interested to see whether this helps create a greater sense of safety in the organisation and how comfortable you guys will be with wearing these body-worn cams.

The other thing that we've heard that we need to think carefully about is whether or not everybody in the organization feels that they're treated the same, because what we're seeing in some of the feedback is that people do not feel treated the same and for example, we see that in our be BAME Community reporting that they don't feel they have the same access as others in the team to things like promotion, education and training and so on. And actually there is actual evidence to demonstrate this which is a concern of course, and I think what we also know is that these kinds of feelings and experiences in the workplace can undermine Health and Well-Being and resilience and of course be really doing a lot of work around this. So these things are all linked together and it's important that we see it in that way.

So we're doing lots of work around this area and we're going to have a think through with yourselves how we really understand how we move from this place to becoming a truly inclusive and enabling workplace for everybody for everybody and will be coming out to ask more questions and detail on that and we'll be seeking your support in developing the plans around how we improve that situation.

Now there's going to be a number of campaigns rolling out across the coming months. If you're interested in connecting up and getting involved with that. Please contact myself or Karen Archer-Burton, or please visit the Health and Well-Being pages on TrustNet or the People Pages that are coming which will have some more of this information. I think the overall message is thank you all very much for contributing to the staff survey, honestly and giving us your opinions. We will share the detailed information through my Board Reports at the end of March. They're all publicly available, so please go read if you're interested in the detail. And please come along and get involved in the improvement work which is going to be so very important, so that we can really really be a great place to work. So that everybody feels equally treated that people are not afraid at work and not concerned about bullying or harassment and that we are all healthy and well and able to be resilient in the workplace.

So thank you all very much for listening. Please do let us know whether you like the podcast format and please do have a fabulous weekend.

Suzanne Rankin
Chief Executive



Each week Suzanne Rankin, our Chief Executive, sends a message to staff about events at the hospitals, special achievements, and plans for the future.

We shall be adding them to this section as well as including them on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

From time to time, we shall ask other members of the Trust Board and clinical team to give their perspective on the week in our hospitals.


About Suzanne

Suzanne was announced as the new Chief Executive in June 2014.

Suzanne began her nursing and management career with the Royal Navy, including deployment during the 1990 Gulf War; a spell as Senior Nursing Officer at NATO Headquarters in Lisbon; and Nursing Officer in charge of the 56-bed Trauma and Orthopaedic Unit at the former Royal Hospital Haslar in Gosport, Hampshire.

Past Messages