The Partnership Fund grants were awarded by the Social Partnership Forum (SPF) which includes the Department of Health, NHS Employers and NHS Trade Unions and aims to improve working relationships and involve partners in the workforce implications of NHS policy development.*
A total fund of £500,000 will be split between recipients who include:
• Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust – £40,000 for establishing a Learning Centre which will be available for staff and trade unions. The Centre will provide a range of services including literacy, numeracy and IT training, support for local unemployed people and patient experience feedback sessions.
• East Midlands Ambulance Service – £40,410 for creating the post of a Community Engagement Officer whose responsibility will focus on building links with local communities and involving them in the delivery of the Trust's services, which will include promoting better health and wellbeing within the local population and improving community awareness of the role of the Ambulance Service.
Secretary of State for Health Andy Burnham said:
“Partnership working is essential to the success of NHS organisations and a great way for trade unions and employers to work constructively together on important issues of common interest and on changes which are important in the delivery of high quality services.
“The response to the Social Partnership Fund has been extremely positive and there have been some great ideas which will help staff take ownership of the place where they work.
“These innovative projects will allow staff to have their say in making improvements which will improve the quality of service that is offered to patients and the conditions in which staff work.”
Gill Bellord, director of pay, pensions and employment relations at NHS Employers, said:
"Employers have welcomed the Social Partnership Fund and we are sure that the organisations being awarded will use it creatively and effectively. In addition to helping their own trusts, their work can provide ideas and inspiration so that all NHS trusts can continue delivering partnership working at a local level which will improve patient services."
Karen Jennings, Chair, NHS Staff Side, said:
“Partnership at a local level between trade unions and employers is the most effective and progressive way to develop good working relationship and improve standards of care. Health workers want to fully engage in finding solutions and to modernise approaches in the delivery of services to individuals and to communities. The winning projects represent our aspirations for partnership at a local level.”