Leading by example

The Trust

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

The background

Chief executive officer and board level leadership Birmingham Children’s Hospital joined with Birmingham Women’s Hospital in 2017. The board have provided clear leadership on employee health and wellbeing, ensuring that it is always on the agenda and accounted for in decision making.

The leadership team have taken several measures to ensure that health and wellbeing remains a priority:

  • Each year the chief executive officer, executive and non-executive directors hold a series of listening events to understand what is important to an employee.
  • The board have prioritised integrating health and wellbeing into in all aspects of workforce management.
  • Employee health and wellbeing is included in broader organisational objectives for senior management.
  • The trust has challenged a reactive ‘crisis culture’ by investing in preventative and long-term approaches to employee health and wellbeing.
  • Performance on this agenda is overseen through regular ‘quality committee’ reports to the board.
  • Key points are shared across the organisation through the Chief Executive Officer’s monthly briefings.

The impact of this approach

The efforts have helped the trust to maintain its reputation as an appealing place to work with stable sickness absence and no major recruitment challenges. Chief Executive Officer, Sarah-Jane Marsh, was rated third best chief executive in the NHS by Health Service Journal in 2018.

Being the ‘best place to work’ is listed the number one goal to support the organisation’s vision and places employee health and wellbeing at the front and centre of board focus.