Putting our staff at the heart of our Case for Change

Date posted: 27th July 2021 Putting our staff at the heart of our Case for Change thumbnail image

Our staff are key to the success of the local NHS and to the care provided for local people. This is why strengthening our ability to retain and recruit great staff is at the heart of the New Hospitals Programme.

Our New Hospitals Programme Case for Change report outlines the critical need for investment in Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Royal Preston Hospital and Furness General Hospital. It describes the impact that the current issues with these buildings have on patient and staff experience, local people’s health and the ability to deliver hospital services productively and efficiently.

Why do we need to change?

  • Hospitals across Lancashire and South Cumbria employ 40,000 staff in total.
  • Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust have almost 15,000 staff between them.
  • Our hospitals have a higher percentage of vacancies than the national average, meaning that in some cases wards and departments may struggle to get rotas covered. This can leave hard working teams under pressure and creates an over-reliance on agency staff.
  • Across the region, more than 20% of the current workforce in our hospitals is over 55, which brings the added risk of many of our people nearing retirement

How will investment in hospital facilities help us recruit and retain staff?

Recruiting and retaining significant numbers of new employees to address these issues is essential to our ability to deliver high quality, sustainable health care in the years ahead, and the provision of new hospital facilities will aid both retention and recruitment.

To keep and attract great staff, we need to compete with the very best hospitals around the UK, and we know that the quality of the everyday working environment is a big factor when individuals are deciding where to apply for jobs. We believe that the opportunity offered by the New Hospitals Programme will give Lancashire and South Cumbria this attractive and competitive edge. 

Will there be an opportunity for staff to adopt digital technologies to enhance patient care?

The age and poor layout of many current buildings can also be a significant factor in hampering investment in the latest technology that doctors and clinicians want to have access to and that patients deserve to have.

Our Case for Change explains our digital ambition and the important role that integrated new hospital facilities play in attracting those healthcare workers who are leading the adoption of emerging digital technologies. 

While our region has a good track record in training and research, we risk falling behind because it is increasingly difficult to compete with the facilities of newer buildings, many outside this region.

What changes have staff already identified?

The reality of working in our current buildings and the difficulties this can cause is already recognised. Staff have already put forward some great suggestions for what they would like to see in future new buildings, including:

  • Create quiet space for sensitive conversations in all wards and departments.
  • Make wards and departments physically bigger and more flexible.
  • Think about the needs of all staff, as well as all patients.
  • Have peaceful rest rooms, green space and gardens.
  • Integrate communications so everything can happen more quickly.
  • Leisure facilities for staff to help mental health and wellbeing.
  • Design rooms with staff safety in mind, e.g. reduce moving and handling.
  • Build in an eco-friendly way and encourage staff to recycle.

More about our Case for Change

Read our New Hospitals Programme Case for Change and find out how we can transform the working environment for our region’s healthcare workers and improve outcomes for patients.

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