Senior Managers at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust are working closely with representatives from more than 11 unions to make sure staff continue to be engaged in meeting the financial challenges faced by the NHS and the Trust’s strategy (Service Development Strategy 3 - SDS3) which sets out the strategic direction of the Trust for the next three years (until 2015).
Chief Executive Brian James and Chairman Peter Lee recently attended a key meeting with the British Medical Association (BMA), Unison, Unite, the GMB and others* to talk about the way forward and how we can work together better for staff.
The Trust already works closely with the unions but this is the first in a series of sessions that Brian and Peter will have with the unions as part of a consultation with staff about how the Trust can continue to deliver even better care with less funding.
Brian said: “It was important to hear what the unions had to say and to get feedback directly from them about how we can help our relationship with them to evolve. It is very important that we all work closely in light of the current economic climate and the pressure the whole NHS is facing. I feel that this meeting was a positive step forward to open up better channels of communication with all the unions and to help them feel engaged in what we need to do going forward, to make sure the Trust is as resilient as possible and staff are better informed.
He continues: “The fact that the health service is facing a tough financial climate is news that is not new, but it affects the whole of the NHS, not just Rotherham. I have already been speaking directly to staff about this for a few months as part of a series of SDS 3 briefings. I am keen to broaden engagement with staff and to get their ideas and feedback because they are the experts in their area and I want to know from them how they can support the direction of travel set out in SDS 3, as well as how we can do things differently and more efficiently whilst continuing to drive up the quality of care we offer.
“This is not an easy task but I do believe that we can achieve great things if we all work together to make a difference. I would urge our patients, staff and the public to support us at this difficult time; indeed I would like to say to all our staff and Unions how important it is that we continue to build on the confidence of the public in the Trust, the services we provide and our staff, and to work with us to make the Trust an even better place for the people of Rotherham.”
*other unions involved in working with the Trust are the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), British Dental Association, British and Irish Orthoptic Society, Chartered Society for Physiotherapists (CSP), British Associate Occupational Therapists (BAOT), British Dietetic Association and the Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists (SoCaP).