Developing our vision and values

On Thursday 13 July, staff from across the three trusts – Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC), Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (BCP) and Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH) – were invited to a vision and values event where they could shape the ethos of the new organisation that will be formed through the Transforming Care Together partnership (TCT).

The event saw staff from all job backgrounds come together to have their say. After signing in and being assigned to a table, a hum of introductions could be heard across the room as attendees got to know one another and discussed their expectations of the event as well as their individual vision and values.

After a brief introduction from Rebecca Crowther, Associate Director of Organisational Development, hosting was handed over to David Clarke from Clarkes Associates who guided staff throughout the day. To develop an environment where staff felt that they could speak out, a short icebreaking workshop took place and tables were renamed by the groups (shout out to the Spice Girls, Village People and Jamming Table!).

Delegates then heard from Tracy Taylor, Chief Executive at BCHC and BCP, who outlined the vision and values that the three trusts currently hold, “Once a name for the new organisation has been decided, we will review and develop our new values. The current values that all three trusts hold are so similar you couldn’t put a piece of paper between them. It is vital to me and the directors that you as staff have a serious chance at shaping our future values. The words and behaviours have to really mean something to you, have to motivate you.” The session started on the most important thing, what our staff need.

Questioned on her new position at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and what this means for the future of TCT, Tracy told the audience, “It’s been a really hard decision for me to make. However, knowing that we have a fantastic team of directors and staff makes me feel confident that the future of TCT is safe. The integration of the three trusts was decided by Board, not me, so the reasons for developing the new organisation remain the same.”

“I will be in post to ensure that a safe landing is achieved on 1 October. Recruitment for a permanent CEO will then begin. However, when I have left and following the integration, Peter Axon, Deputy Chief Executive at BCHC will step-up into the CEO role to maintain stability until the substantive CEO has been appointed.  I want to remind you that a leader is only as good as the people that work for them, I don’t deliver the vision of the organisation, you do. Everyone makes a valuable contribution on a day-to-day basis so I have every confidence that you will make this a success.”

Take a few minutes to think about what makes you proud of the work that you do or services you deliver. Staff who attended the event covered areas such as staff development, helping service users become more independent, a sense of teamwork in departments and generally working in the NHS. It’ll be a long journey to develop our vision and trust values, but using the good work of our staff as inspiration means we’ll know that the outcome will be applicable for everyone.

Mark Axcell, CEO at DWMH, discussed the importance of the people working in the NHS, “Twenty-five years ago today I started my first ever full-time job which was in the NHS. The greatest thing I’ve found is that over time, the buildings and services change but it’s always the fantastic people that work within them that you really remember.”

This led the event into a values-focused session, inviting staff to organise and prioritise the current values of the three organisations, streamlining similar words into one overarching value as well as making their own. The most commonly occurring values were:

  • Caring
  • Quality
  • Honest/transparent
  • Inclusion
  • Innovation
  • Integrity
  • Empowerment
  • Dignity/respect
  • Collaboration

IMG_8242Following an in-depth discussion on the values, staff were asked to think about how the values should be lived and the impact they should have on our day-to-day work. Finally, options for the new organisation’s name were debated. The new name has to include certain criteria which you can find out more about and have your say on here.

To close, a few final thoughts were shared about the pride people feel in their work, these included:

“I’m proud to see the children that I work with develop and achieve their targets”

“I enjoy being able to support families after a crisis”

 “I can give hope when it may have been lost through depression”

“Reading the positive feedback from service users”

“I’m always proud to work in the NHS”

 “I work with people who genuinely care”

“We can always survive ongoing changes – we’re resilient”

Members of staff can be more involved in the TCT process by attending one of several events, emailing tct.partnership@nhs.net or becoming a Change Champion by contacting gail.parry@bcpft.nhs.uk, michael.hirons@dwmh.nhs.uk or ayesha.begum@bhamcommunity.nhs.uk.

Members of the public can get involved and ask any questions by attending one of the many drop-in sessions across Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall, or one of our service themed events (mental health, learning disabilities, children’s services). Dates can be found here.

Written by Chelsea Wood, Communications Team, Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

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