Nurses in Bradford have recently been named Team of the Year, partly thanks to a new, national nursing leadership programme.
Led by ward manager, Paul Rafferty, the team at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust beat five other teams to win the award, and with it, £5,000 to be ploughed back into their work, thanks to sponsorship by Sovereign Health Care.
Paul Rafferty is currently on the nursing and midwifery frontline leadership programme run by the NHS Leadership Academy.
Paul said his team’s achievements are thanks to the leadership programme, which “focuses on developing high quality leaders who are committed to delivering the best care for patients.”
He said: “From participating on the frontline leadership programme, I knew the skills I developed would help me lead the service, and care in the NHS based on the core values of the NHS and constitution.
This means I can improve patient care and motivate the team to think outside the box to improve patient experience; realising that the environment is normal for them but alien to patients and therefore enhance care and compassion.”
The team won the prize for a campaign based on NHS Chief Nurse, Jane Cummings’ six C’s strategy of care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment – which is designed to set a strong direction for nursing and improve patient care.
Paul said: “The team communicates more than ever, which means we can support each other in delivering the best possible care for our patients on the ward.
“This award is a testament to the hard work of my team and to providing seamless, excellent care to our patients.”
“We took the guidance from Jane Cummings and what I’d learnt on the leadership programme and have made some major changes. A key behaviour we improved on is listening – not always speaking, but actively listening and reflecting on situations. I’ve enhanced the skill to pause and reflect on my reactions to situations.
“It’s important for me to combine the leadership experience with business skills to keep the patient at the heart of everything me, and my team do.”
In the past year, the team has succeeded in making dramatic improvements on the busy ward, which also acts as a regional specialist centre for plastics and maxillofacial surgery.
On average up to 15 patients needing this type of specialist, and often complex care, are admitted and discharged on ward 19 every day.
Dr David Ashton, the Academy’s head of practice, said: “I’m really pleased to hear Paul has enjoyed the programme and has taken the learning back to his team. This is proof that good leadership makes a difference to patient care.
“Part of our core programmes, the frontline leadership course focuses on those nurses and midwives who not only directly deliver patient care but are responsible for their own teams in whichever setting they work, whether it be in public health, a GP practice, hospital or community setting.
“At the NHS Leadership Academy we are absolutely committed to the view that leadership really does start on the frontline – and our frontline leadership course is designed to help our band 6 and 7 nurses and midwives understand their approach and supports them to understand the impact that they can make on patient care as an individual and as part of a team.”
The course, which follows the Senior Operational Leaders Nursing and Midwifery programme and includes elements of the NHS Top Leaders programme, includes a three day residential and consists of practical group work on understanding the culture of the NHS and each individual’s approach within that. Attendees are representative of the fourteen regions in the country to ensure a consistency of approach across all areas in the UK.
Paul will also soon begin the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson programme, run by the NHS Leadership Academy. Leading to an MA in healthcare leadership, the intensive programme provides the skills to drive and sustain real change – building a culture of patient-focused care at a wider departmental or functional level.