Workforce Block 5 Seminars

11:40 am - 12:00 pm

Small Action, Big Impact

When my friend, Brian Greenley, was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in 2010, I began to write letters to him, wanting to alleviate the isolation and loneliness which so often comes with a cancer diagnosis, as friends and family are paralysed by the fear of saying the wrong thing and so say nothing. Throughout Brian's treatment I wrote over 100 letters; those letters changed both our lives.
When the BBC picked up our story, such was the impact, we set up the charity From Me to You. Every year we deliver thousands of donated, anonymous letters to cancer patients in UK hospitals and cancer centres.
Our workshops (online and in-person) encourage and inspire people to stay connected to loved ones and strangers via the simple letter. Our Donate A Letter programme hosts hundreds of people writing anonymous letters for us to deliver to those living with cancer, as we work directly with hospitals and partner charities.
We work with organisations, corporates and community groups, using letter writing as a teambuilding resource with the additional benefit that individuals can continue the experience outside the workplace.
Letter writing gives the writers an altruistic sense of doing something for someone else but much more than that, it allows them a period of creativity, reflection and inner mental calm. Many of our writers, after writing for our Donate A Letter programme, find the confidence to connect with loved ones living with cancer. And many of our letter recipients become letter writers.
Presentation Format: Small Action, Big Impact
• Tell our story
• Highlight the wellbeing aspects of involvement in the charity
• Inspire with short videos of impact on recipients and letter content
• Each attendee to receive a postcard for a short, guided writing exercise
• Q&A


2:30 pm - 2:50 pm

Apprenticeship Investment in Clinical Engineering

The role of Clinical Engineering in support of the NHS came into sharp focus during the COVID-19 Pandemic and has shone a light on this essential profession. There is a shortage of Clinical Engineers and an ageing workforce with fewer and fewer recruits. The industry is having to move quickly with an ever increasing portfolio of connected devices and interfaces to the Electronic Patient Record (EPR). These skills are moving Clinical Engineering into greater depth with Trust ICT departments and detailed knowledge of software. The MHRA requires all staff to be appropriately trained.
The investment from the NHS and private sector companies into Apprenticeships for Clinical Engineers is now paramount. The focus into ensuring succession planning; greater ICT skills; the implications to cyber security, knowledge of Net Zero Carbon and other sustainability related issues will mean a shift in the knowledge base of Clinical Engineering. Attracting more recruits and raising the status of the personnel working within it is an import shift post-pandemic. Putting the clinical back into Clinical Engineering; the training of clinical colleagues on key equipment e.g. ventilators; whilst recognising that there multiple levels of opportunity, including attracting young people who have practical skills and can see a route into the profession with support from structured courses.
Raising the profile; paying the appropriate levels for the skills and joint collaboration between the NHS and Private Sector companies that have access to the Apprenticeship Levy, give opportunities help plug the emerging gap in this profession, and provide a long-term career path.
There are a multitude of routes from entry level 2; through to degree level; all with established recognized providers. A number of organisations like RCT IHEEM and IPEM are investing in this approach. The Private Sector are also using Social Values funds to invest in these careers.



2:50 pm - 3:10 pm

Apprenticeships and Positive Action for Diversity

There are many reasons why prioritising diversity in NHS apprenticeship schemes can greatly benefit the organisation. The NHS people plan focuses on the importance of diversity and all will be familiar with the proposition that a trust should mirror the community it serves. The more a workforce mirrors the community it serves the better the patient experience of care. Where better to start with this diversity than your apprenticeship schemes.

However although the Equality Act 2010 allows employers to introduce positive action measures to increase representation for disadvantaged and protected groups a lack of understanding about what positive measures actually means in practice is often thwarts their best use.

In this presentation we will look at three forms of positive action with a specific focus on widening the diversity of NHS apprenticeship schemes and how they are actually applied in practice. Reserving places on relevant training courses to assist with applications, interviews or ability to do the job in question, providing mentoring schemes to increase representation of disadvantaged groups at a senior level in the organisation (and yes apprenticeships can apply to senior level posts as well as junior), and the "tie-break" provision as it applies in recruitment.

Feeling confident about what you can do is simply a case of knowing where the legal boundaries lie and how best to use positive action to benefit your apprentices, your organisation and subscribe to the ethos of the NHS people plan. Our presentation will provide the enhanced knowledge that you need in this area.


3:10 pm - 3:30 pm

Training Engineers as Managers Scheme: Developing Skills to Ensure a Successful Future

Recognised by the Top Employers Institute as a Top Employer since 2019 for excellence in employee conditions, we are confident in our dedication to providing the very best working environment for our employees through our progressive 'people-first' HR practices.

In addition, we are gold accredited Investors in People, driving positive outcomes in the workplace. We are engaged and motivated to retain, train, and develop all our staff, from Apprentices to Senior Managers.

To ensure the personal and professional growth of our staff, we launched the TEAM scheme on our Healthcare sites; Training Employees as Managers. The scheme supports employees, to not only access quality training opportunities but also provides that their learning and development within their role is set out in a well-structured format. The scheme can be adapted to any trade, profession or discipline, with topics relevant to each - e.g for site engineers, it is split across six themes; Health & Safety, Meetings, Compliance, Operations & Management, Project Management and Email Etiquette.

Engineers are given the chance to take on more responsibility, gain an understanding of the wider contract and management experience, supported by, and working closely with the management team in real time. This would typically include auditing jobs, conducting site safety tours, compliance tracking, managing minor works and being coached on how to answer difficult emails from the client.

The aim is to give valuable real-life experience to employees, but also to encourage a collaborative team spirit between management and the workforce. The experience and understanding of the wider contract gained, is then discussed and digested within the wider team, creating a clearer understanding of the operation and the requirement of the workforce.

We must give our employees the space and opportunity to reach their full potential and are thrilled to see so many of them flourishing.