Have you registered your organisation for the 2010 Healthcare 100? HSJ and Nursing Times have come together with NHS Employers and the Department of Health to identify the top healthcare providers to work for in the UK. Helen Mooney looks at one of last year’s winners

Stockport Foundation Trust

Positioned 16th overall

It clear that the staff at Stockport Foundation Trust feel valued and appreciate the organisation’s commitment to training – including supporting some staff through university.

They also appreciate the opportunity to work family friendly hours.

The trust celebrates staff achievements and has a good record on diversity. Its work experience scheme offers ex-offenders the chance to spend time at the hospital and hopefully moves them towards employment. 

The trust says that it sees staff as its “major asset” and will develop its workforce to ensure that it has “the right skills in the right place and that every person counts.” 

Voted sixteenth in the Healthcare 100 and top healthcare employer in the North West the trust is proud of the way it engages its staff and of the atmosphere it has created. The trust’s director of HR Nicola Reucroft says that the management team work hard to try and make sure staff like working within the organisation. 

The trust has developed a “steering wheel” with five different segments representing what the trust stands for and what it is trying to achieve.  These are staff, patients, services, finance and community engagement or “being more than just a hospital”.  All new staff are introduced to the values and importance of the steering wheel which is detailed in their induction pack.  On their first day new staff also meet the executive team who present the steering wheel.

“The wheel is a great way to get staff to understand what they and we are doing within the organisation and why it matters, we also do this by having an annual staff meeting which is attended by up to 400 members of staff,” Ms Reucroft explains.

The trust works hard to promote team working and recognises its crucial importance in developing a positive hospital environment.   

“We recognise the really excellent work that our staff do and we have a number of celebrations that recognise that work,” continues Ms Reucroft. 

The trust hold a gala awards ceremony each year with awards for, among others, the best nurse, doctor, team and employee of the year and the organisation also positively promotes the hospital and its staff working with the wider community. A volunteer learning scheme is in place which allows people with physical and learning disabilities to gain work experience and mentoring within the hospital.  The trust also actively works with disadvantaged people within the community to help them into employment - not just at the hospital. 

The trust has a health promotion policy for staff and is currently encouraging uptake of the seasonal flu jab among staff with a ‘Look After Yourselves’ campaign and staff who are flu jab ‘heroes’. 

Ms Reucroft admits that in a large acute hospital like Stockport it is impossible to know everybody personally and that “systems and processes” have to be relied on to make sure that staff engagement is happening properly. 

“Appraisal is very important as it shows the staff that we value them, with over 4,000 staff we can’t expect to know everyone so appraisals are really helpful and we do hold staff to account for doing them properly so that it is not just a tick box exercise,” she explains. 

Stockport Foundation Trust has a reputation for being a “friendly” organisation, something which it works hard to put into practice.

The Healthcare 100, researched by Ipsos MORI on behalf of HSJ and Nursing Times, is based on the results of an exclusive poll of the employees of participating organisations. It is open to both NHS and independent healthcare providers in the acute, primary care, mental health and ambulance sectors.

Why is the Healthcare 100 important for you?

  • Discover how you rank in relation to other organisations from the public, independent and voluntary sectors
  • Raise your organisation’s profile and celebrate your staff engagement
  • Support your efforts to recruit the very best staff by being known as a top employer
  • Ascertain what your employees think of you
  • Receive a detailed feedback report on your organisation

How to take part:

  1. Register your organisation before 31 December 2009
  2. Complete the online employer survey
  3. Distribute employee surveys to your staff
  4. Return all surveys by 31 January 2010