#UltimateULHT - Using digital space more effectively, digital transformation has been pivotal in providing opportunities

Observed that there is a lot of manager’s time spent on transactional matters, ie process/system/getting things done/reporting/on treadmill/accreditations and no space has been


• Ensure managers are tooled up to support staff in the moment following any critical incidents

• Mental health wellbeing, especially for managers added pressures placed upon them to address staffs’ concerns and being able to support them.

• Having a safe place to express frustrations, to share and talk in a safe place and have peers hear and understand from a senior leader perspective


• Part of wellbeing initiatives headed up by OD Lead who set up virtual community spaces for an hour a day Mon-Fri between 1-2pm for staff network groups ie BAME. This then changed to generic community spaces (Virtual wobble space).

• Medicine teams wanted wellbeing spaces for their leadership team and Ward Sisters which have happened recently via Teams and led by a senior leader within the divisions and facilitated by Penelope.

• Allows space to discuss unexpected challenges and how they’ve responded, which has included managing relationships at home and exposure risk anxiety etc, providing pastoral support to their teams, needing time to have those conversations and being visible.


• Staff are more willing to talk about how they’re feeling at work; they are more open now about how it is for them where in the past there would have been more reluctance

• We’re getting more comfortable with virtual spaces. For those that have IT access, there has been an increased level of comfort to use this along with Agile Working which will be a catalyst for more flexible and agile working in the future.


• Debrief training was a one off training provided in response to the impact on teams in response to COVID-19. However, it has been noted that managers are more comfortable to have these types of conversations with staff going forward.

Resources / team

• Worked with staff lead in Occupational Health in providing face to face debrief training sessions to managers working in areas with COVID-19 and ? positive patients. Take up included A&E staff (including 4 medical staff, ICU, theatres), matrons, senior nurses with line manager responsibilities. A total of 104 staff were trained up in less than 4 weeks between 3rd – 22nd April which was timely as it coincided with the surge at Pilgrim site. Focused on use of a Framework to host a hot debrief then signposting to additional support for structured debrief or refer to 1:1 or counselling. Provided ‘just in time’ debrief support to a particular team at PHB at a difficult time.

Key learning

• Use of virtual meetings and hosting virtual workshops will continue but we need to be careful we don’t lose this opportunity to use virtual learning as one method of delivering training. If some staff could default back to face to face based learning they would. For this to be open to all as an option, we need to ensure our staff has the equipment to access online services as an engaging experience.

• We need to adopt more of that adaptive leadership style; employing more coaching conversations, courageous conversations and facilitating creative space for brainstorm mind map of ideas and so on.

• Using a dialogic approach, use of conversations, shared explorations and sense making, will address this, enables everyone to be involved in designing how things can be different creating more innovation and ownership.

Tips for others

• Challenge more in future, now there is an organisational memory to get things done. Say to staff “we can do it, you did do it, what is stopping us from working this way now?”

• Don’t be afraid to try

• Don’t be afraid to experiment

• Don’t take no for an answer

• Recognise when to pause at the beginning to really understand what’s going on and then learning to act at pace when you are working on the improvement

• Be ok with thinking



  • Acute
  • Acute > Clinical Support
  • Acute > Clinical Support > UltimateULHT
  • Acute > Clinical Support > Digital inclusion
  • Acute > Clinical Support > Staff Wellbeing
  • Leadership and Management
  • Leadership and Management > Workforce
  • Leadership and Management > Workforce > Valuing your staff
  • Campaigns
  • Campaigns > CV-19
  • #FabChange2020
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