7. AAG Recommendation 7 – Engagement
"In order to continue to ensure safe and effective services for the people of Tayside
in a challenging and changing environment, the Board must ensure early, meaningful
and sustained engagement in partnership with its staff, its stakeholders and moreover the public and political representatives."
7.1 NHS Tayside's Assessment – Rating = Amber
"The strengthening of the staff partnership has continued and new terms of reference have been agreed for the Area Partnership Forum, supported by a development programme undertaken by a short life working group. Progress has also been made in strengthening Local Partnership Fora arrangements. A Communication and Engagement Strategy has been prepared and endorsed by NHS Tayside Board. The organisation continues to develop a Compassionate and Inclusive Leadership and Culture Change programme and is well advanced in its programme to embed iMatter action planning across services within the organisation. An additional programme of feedback sessions with staff side and management partners, facilitated in conjunction with the lead from the TST, will further inform the strengthening of our partnership working.
The decision to move the business of the NHS Tayside Transformation Programme Board into open session will enable and enhance the openness and transparency of the transformation programme. With the involvement of staff partnership within the ERT and across the improvement programme and our financial planning framework, the sense of constructive engagement through partnership has been significantly enhanced.
The next stage, will seek to evidence a significant shift in working relationships and our ability to collectively manage challenges through a constructive partnership relationship. At this stage, given the need to demonstrate the strength of partnership and joint working in the challenging tasks and decision making ahead, the status of this recommendation is assessed as 'Amber'."
7.2 TST Comment - TST Rating = Amber
The TST agrees that this recommendation has an Amber rating. NHS Tayside has provided evidence of a commitment to improved transparency and engagement with staff and the public by publishing Transformation Programme Board papers on their website. The Board meeting in August also considered and agreed an overall Communications and Engagement Strategy for the whole programme of work in response to the AAG report and is now working on how to extend its internal engagement around its Integrated Clinical Strategy to encompass a wider range of stakeholders.
The TST has linked with both staff and management partners to assess the current climate of partnership working. The TST believes the relationship is improving but it needs to be acknowledged that demonstrating tangible progress against this recommendation is inherently difficult as it requires an objective assessment of relationships. The indications to date do speak to a shared commitment to finding mutually acceptable ways to move the Board forward. The output from that commitment has still to be assessed in terms of the level of maturity and shared ownership of the partnership relationship as it faces challenging decisions going forward. There are also early indications of closer partnership working with IJBs, to ensure a more holistic approach to the planning design and delivery of services.
Between now and December, the TST expects to see indicators of a real shift in relationships, including the ability to manage difficult issues and hard decisions, constructively and collaboratively in partnership. We anticipate that the operation and outcomes from the Vacancy Management Group referenced under recommendation 4, may offer an early opportunity to demonstrate this kind of approach in a real-time and challenging context. In a similar timescale, we would expect to see development of the Local Partnership Fora to support the transformational change agenda with the Area Partnership Forum enhancing their strategic role within the Board.