“We don’t just recruit for skills, we recruit for attitude,” says Deborah Tarrant from Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT). The attitude the trust looks for, in new and existing employees, is living its PRIDE values – where “PRIDE” is an acronym for passion, responsibility, innovation, drive and empowerment.

The trust serves a community of 750,000 and PRIDE underpins everything it does. All 6,000 plus members of staff have been through a PRIDE programme, aiming to create a culture where everyone is motivated to work together to deliver the best care for patients. PRIDE sessions are also part of staff induction. “The NHS is a people business,” says Tarrant, the trust’s Director of People and Organisational Development. “It’s people caring for people. The better the staff experience and the more engaged they are, the better it is for our patients.”


Spearheading change

The trust is partnered with the Virginia Mason Institute in Seattle, named by the US non-profit medical watchdog the Leapfrog Group as the “Hospital of the Decade”, which has aided BHRUT to introduce the PRIDE Way. Key to this is respect for people, and providing the right tools so people can do the best job possible for their patients. The trust has also been selected to form one of eight new national vanguard sites which will help revolutionise urgent and emergency care across the country.

A key part of PRIDE is ensuring that staff are well supported to carry out their roles safely, to the best of their ability, including raising concerns without reprisal. An independent Guardian Service – the first of its kind – was set up in 2014 to empower employees at all levels to speak up in confidence. A development programme is in place to ensure the right structures, processes and engagement in the trust, with a strong focus on good people management, excellent leadership and team work. “All our new people attend a welcome event,” says Tarrant, “where the Chief Executive and I tell them our mission, setting out the standards of patient care and the behaviours we expect.” Breakfast with the Boss, Meet the Chief Executive and Team Briefing sessions are also held.

“We’ve created opportunities for people to connect with colleagues and leaders, be listened to and contribute ideas,” says Tarrant. “Helping our staff feel valued improves care for our patients.” BHRUT has an award-winning Occupational Health & Wellbeing team offering a variety of services and benefits, including fast-track physiotherapy, health checks, fitness classes and treatments. “We value our employees,” says Tarrant, “and are committed to ensuring they’re well looked after and have a good work-life balance.”


An Employer of choice

Building the trust’s education provision and academic research is also a priority. A Health Technology Assessment Programme, courtesy of The National Institute for Health Research, has awarded £3 million to improve stroke services at BHRUT’s Queen’s Hospital in Romford. To support clinical leadership, the trust also aims to recruit more hospital registrars under the Darzi Fellowship, which enables doctors to develop their skills.

By improving people management and leadership – placing employee engagement and wellbeing as key to its People and Organisational Development Strategy – BHRUT aims to become an employer of choice. With innovative programmes, excellent development opportunities, effective engagement and a comprehensive Occupational Health service, this is a trust which understands the valuable contribution of its people and takes the utmost PRIDE in its workforce.