© PROMISE 2016 - All Rights Reserved | Em@il:promise@cpft.nhs.uk


PROactive Management of Integrated

Services & Environments


Project STAFF - Creating Pathfinders

Staff are our asset

A new organizational mindset that puts

staff development and transformational leadership at the heart of better patient care

Project STAFF

Project Lead: Bob Thomson,

Project Sponsor: Manaan Kar Ray

Project Support:

Admin: Lynne Lelliott



The NHS has a 4% cost improvement programme (CIP) year on year. For mental health services where most if not all interventions are based on human contact and interaction, the principal expenditure is on staff pay roll. Given the financial challenge, organizations often start to see staff as an expense. When this becomes the prevalent mindset, it gives rise to certain behaviours which can be hears on the shop floor in phrases like:

Through project STAFF we want to establish a new mindset that off staff are our asset. If we are successful in establishing this, then it will automatically give rise to a new discourse in which we will hear statements like:

Using the acronym STAFF, this project is the journey of changing the organizational mindset, investing in our workforce, creating transformational leaders and unleashing the innovation at the frontline. The returns on the investment are in terms of better patient care and efficiencies in the care environment that no CIP programme can deliver.





Who are we?


Substantive staff in Sustainable roles

Vacancy Rate


Where do we work?


in supportive Teams built on Trust

Sickness Rate


What do we do?


deliver Appropriate interventions using Appropriate skills

% appropriately trained

% can practice skills


How do we feel?


Feel valued at work

Feel proud of our achievements

% influence decisions


Why do we do what we do?


look Forward to the Fulfilment in our daily work as it helps others Fulfil their Futures.

% look forward to coming to work


At a glance

S - Tackling vacancy rates was the first target of the project. The difference between substantive staff and bank/agency is the difference between owning a house and renting it. Ownership of systems of care are at a completely different level. Throughout 2013 we gave this focused attention and were able to bring vacancy rates down from 16% to 5% in a 6 month window. However this challenge remains, so over-recruitment and proactive recruitment is something the organization always needs to keep an eye on. Also posts need to be sustainable or else retention becomes an issue. In mental health services staff have to behave as if they are running a marathon not a sprint. Role modelling these behaviours is essential. This has included steps like email hygiene (no emails outside work hours with one hour leeway on either side),  creative ways of managing work load etc.

T - If one has substantive staff it lays the foundations for stable teams. A team is more than the sum of its individuals and realizing this potential has been the goal of away days that have been organized. Ward teams who always have patients find this quite difficult to do but through a collaboration across wards this has been achieved.

A - Creating an environment in which staff can practice appropriate skills is essential for the next two steps. Thus in addition to mandatory training we have tried to create individual budgets for teams to spend on training that is essential to patient group that they care for. 100£s/per member of staff per year in year one increasing to 200£s in year 2. Although the amounts are small when pooled together across a team it can provide the basis for rolling training throughout the year

F - Sharing patient experience data is the best way to make staff feel proud of their achievements. Our patients say the most wonderful things through these real time surveys which sets up a positive spiral of good care, more compliments, self belief, good care. In addition to this we hold celebration events to commemorate anniversaries like for the 333 system of care, give out quality hero awards and hold an annual awards night every year.

F - The above measures automatically gives rise to daily fulfilment. Through both project STAFF and PROMISE we have enabled and empowered staff to come forward with new ideas and try them out. This has created a workforce that is ready to embrace the future.