We interviewed Jo about her 1 year anniversary with us and her typical day;
How long have you worked at Nuffield Health?
I have recently celebrated my one year anniversary working for Nuffield Health. Previously I had a 23 year career in the NHS.
What attracted you to your first job here?
I was struggling to find development opportunities working in the local Trust so I widen my search. I had never previously considered working for the private sector & wasn’t sure whether it would be for me. I arranged an informal visit and was very impressed by the focus on maintaining high standards and ensuring that patients receive high quality nursing care.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy leading the ward team. I am lucky to have a really friendly and hardworking team, who are really supportive of each other. Ward work can be challenging at times and it really helps when you can rely on your colleagues. As a team we focus on how we can improve the patient experience and we all share a vision of being the best we can.
Tell us about a typical day in your job?
I rarely have a typical day- I am really never sure what is going to happen next!! However, this is the type of environment I thrive in!
As Ward Manager I work a mix of management days & clinical shifts. I love my clinical shifts. I look after patients who have had a wide range of surgical procedures & at Cheltenham Hospital we have the time, the staffing and the resources to do this to a high standard. My management days often involve meetings with other Heads of Department discussing subjects such as infection control , clinical governance, medicines management , etc. This gives us the opportunity to discuss any issues & look at ways to improve patient experience & outcomes. The rest of my management time is spent focusing on staff issues. This can range from issues such as sickness management to organising study leave & holidays for staff.
Do you have any key achievements that you’d like to share?
Since January I have been focusing on the Patient Satisfaction Surveys. Previously our return rate was poor at 22%. I have been encouraging staff to ask patients to complete them and our response rate is now 42%. The responses are therefore more valuable because they are from a wider range of people. This helps us to look at ways we can improve the service to our patients.
Another benefit is that the staff get some lovely feedback because the patients have the opportunity to name them specifically. This information is the fed back via a display board & the comments are printed off for staff to keep.
For someone looking to be a Ward Manager, do you have any advice or top tips?
My top tips would be based around communication. I always try & listen to the ward team, often they have very good ideas. Also if decisions/changes need to be made , I try & involve the whole team in the process. I think it is also important to build up strong working relationships with other Heads of Departments & also with other Ward Managers within Nuffield Health. Sometimes they may have experienced similar issues & are able to advise. When you are the only Ward Manager in the whole hospital, it can seem like you are the only one with an issue but in my experience, Nuffield Health is a very friendly environment & other Ward Managers are always happy to help.
What do you enjoy the most about working for Nuffield Health?
Cheltenham Hospital has really friendly staff! We are a fairly small hospital so you get to know everybody & the different departments will work together & help each other as necessary. We also have good support & strong leadership from our Senior Management Team. It is great working in an environment where staff are listened to & are able to make suggestions on how to improve. Nuffield health supports staff development and we are actively encouraged to engage in development opportunities such as study days.
We also have a staff recognition scheme where we are able to nominate colleagues who have gone ‘above & beyond’ & they will be considered for a reward.
The professional and personal wellbeing of our staff is important to us. How do you benefit from a work life balance with us?
Work life balance is always tricky for nurses & I still work shifts including weekends. However, perks such as the reduced gym membership for my family & reduced price cinema tickets have really enhanced our family time.
To find out more about current opportunities to work with us at our Cheltenham Hospital please click here.