Langley Green has undergone a transformation in recent years and we have overcome some very challenging times. People from across the Trust were brought in to form a new team, and all changes now come from people who work within the Trust. This approach has marked a complete cultural change. We want to support people on the frontline to do what they think is right for patients, share innovative ideas and make a difference.
I’m particularly proud to say that patients and carers are part of our team through our Patient / Carer Reference Group. They’re the experts, the people who use our services. Everything goes past the group, and they bring essential insight. Their willingness to contribute says a lot about how far the culture has developed.
Research is a core area of development and we have exciting research aspirations, reaching years into the future. Research is no longer seen as a remote, separate, academic project − the staff are now actively engaged, assessing the improvements it may bring and planning ahead. We are training staff in research skills and this means better staff retention and an improved quality of care. It has been met with great enthusiasm. Bringing research into day-to-day patient care is the sort of innovative approach that makes Sussex Partnership different.
Supporting staff wellbeing is also a core priority. I have introduced a new initiative called the Schwartz rounds. Staff from clinical and non-clinical areas meet for an hour to talk about how they feel about professional issues. It’s a chance to see a different perspective on the same challenge, and to validate emotions. It builds compassion and understanding between staff members. The Schwartz rounds were piloted in NW Sussex and will now be rolled out in Brighton.
We have been through a transformation in NW Sussex and our frontline people feel more empowered to make a difference to patient care. Of course the journey from an objective to a reality can take time, but I’m always struck by the enthusiasm of our people. A member of one of our community teams came to me and said, “it feels good to come to work now”. That’s a change I’m proud of.