by Dee Carter, Lead for Shared Governance, Frimley Health Foundation Trust;
Beth Bal, Head of Nursing for quality and Audit, Frimley Health Foundation Trust;
Alison Stevens, Corporate Head of Nursing
“[M4E] has directed our awareness on how to improve our working environment by incorporating the magnet principles to improve our wellbeing and having an impact on our quality of patient care.”
Kath Bailey, Learning environment lead/ Magnet Champion
Introducing Frimley Health
Frimley Health is a 2,000-bed Foundation trust, about 35 miles from central London. The Trust has 3 main sites plus community and satellite services and a catchment population of around 900,000 across Surrey, Hampshire, and Berkshire. Frimley Health employs over 10,000 people of which, approximately 4,000, are nurses. Our future vision is ‘to be a leader in health and wellbeing, delivering exceptional services for our local communities’.
We feel very privileged to be one of the 11 UK hospitals taking part in the M4E research and fortunate to be supported by both our Chief Nurse Lorna Wilkinson and Jane Ball and her team from the University of Southampton, along with the never-ending support from our twinning partner colleagues from The Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, Monica Weber and Nancy Albert.
Experiences during the M4E journey
Back in 2020, our journey began with our gap analysis. This highlighted an opportunity to develop a nursing strategy and implement a shared governance structure. The Nursing strategy was devised by our teams who identified six core ambitions, which also mirrored our Trust Strategy. These ambitions encompassed our way of supporting our workforce to develop in their role to achieve their ambitions.
Our shared Governance model is used as the golden thread throughout the strategy and will enable us to embed our Nursing Strategy throughout our organisation.
Our support system
Throughout our journey we have been steered and supported by many members of our national collaborative but especially supported by Jane and her team in Southampton. Working alongside and learning from our colleagues has further affirmed the decisions and direction our Magnet steering group made.
Mostly, however, our relationship with such an internationally renowned twin hospital as the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio has proven priceless - always there to offer guidance, support and coaching with good humour and expertise. We have met monthly to discuss our progress and how The Cleveland Clinic managed many of the same difficulties we now face.
Learning from the gap analysis and first survey - what have we done
Despite the pandemic and the implementation of our electronic patient system, our nursing team has embraced being part of the Magnet journey. Our first Shared Governance Council was set up in April and this council focused on developing a Magnet Champions network across the organisation. This council has moved from strength to strength with now over 45 members in the council, all willing to learn and support the Magnet principles. After undertaking a training need analysis, we compiled a training programme which will be revaluated, with the view of implementing a rolling chairperson training programme every 3 months as needed. As a start the aim of this council is to ensure all areas have a level of understanding of Magnet and how it can impact on the care our frontline care givers are giving to our patients. Going forward our champions will have the knowledge to apply and undertake the chairing of other councils.
As we enter the final year of the research, we continue to plan our shared governance role out. Our next planned council will focus on implementing a meaningful ward accreditation programme across the organisation. Many of our already established meetings have, unknowingly, followed a shared governance type structure which we will embrace with minor adjustments. Above all we will continue to harness the talent within our teams and strengthen the voice of nursing within the organisation and celebrate all that we have achieved.
After the challenges the previous 2 years have given us in healthcare to be part of research that helps us focus, rightly, on our staff wellbeing and the correlation for patient outcomes, is a privilege.
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 848031.
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