Promoting partnership working in the NHS

Francis - SPF key messages

SPF representatives from NHS trade unions, NHS Employers, DH, NHS England, HEE, CQC, and regional colleagues are continuing to work collectively in response to the findings and recommendations of the Francis Report to maintain a focus on the cultural aspects of the report and on the issue of staff engagement.

The SPF Francis subgroup contributed to the Government's response to the Francis inquiry report Hard Truths: the journey to putting patients first. In volume 1, chapter 5 of the Government's response there is an entry from the Francis subgroup which sets out six key messages relating to the health workforce, on issues highlighted in the Francis Inquiry report.

Included below, along with the entry, are links to information and resources from the SPF and partners' organisations related to the key messages:  

"The Social Partnership Forum (SPF) believes that we have an opportunity to use the Francis inquiry report to emphasise fundamental strengths within the NHS workforce and challenge issues that need to be addressed. We also believe that staff are the biggest asset of the NHS and its greatest investment.

"Our starting point is that staff and managers in the NHS want to provide compassionate care and to do their best for patients and families. Every day in every ward, clinic and community, this is happening."

We need to continue to build on our strengths to develop positive working environments through:

This is highlighted in a growing body of research evidence (West et al 2011; Berwick 2013) and should be implemented with the rigour of a new drug or treatment.

In particular, for staff to have well designed jobs, access to appropriate training and education, support to maintain their health, wellbeing and safety and to be involved in decisions that affect them.

This needs to be done by all providers of NHS services [whatever their sector] as well as commissioners and regulators. We would urge that the NHS staff survey is completed by all providers of NHS services.

These are recognised as essential to good patient care and patient outcomes, but are only one component of establishing safe staffing. There also needs to be effective whole team working supported by good employment systems.

  • Salford Royal Foundation Trust - Showcasing their Quality Improvement work, including the short summaries of the Quality Improvement (QI) strategy, QI capability courses offered, aims and achievements (see Related documents).
  • Second Edition of a piece of work by Paul Vaughan (RCN Regional Director West Midlands), Best Kept Secrets. This showcases examples of great nursing care throughout West and East Midlands.
  • RCN Safe staffing guidance.
  • NHS Employers' website has information on how to ensure people working in the NHS have the right values, attitudes and behaviours. This includes details on the Care Makers Programme which is spreading the word about Compassion in Practice across the NHS and also how to recruit staff with the right values.
  • The NQB worked with the Chief Nursing Officer for England to develop guidance to help providers and commissioners implement one of the key recommendations in the Francis report.
  • 'How to ensure the right people are in the right place at the right time' , is a guide to nursing, midwifery and care staff capacity and capability.

Working to deliver a cultural change so that staff feel able to raise issues of concern and know they will be listened to.