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Human Resources and Employee Wellbeing Teams Presented with NHS Wales Awards

Wednesday 6th November 2023

In November, our Human Resources and Employee Wellbeing Teams were successful in winning two NHS Wales Awards for their ‘Improving our Employee Investigations’ programme.

They received the ‘Enriching the Wellbeing, Capability and Engagement of the Health and Care Workforce Award’ and the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Transforming Health and Care Award.’

Whilst employee investigations are sometimes necessary and important for addressing work place issues, a joint programme between our Human Resources (HR) and employee wellbeing teams acknowledged the potential harm that they can cause to those being taken through the process, as well as those involved in delivering them.

The ‘Improving our employee investigations’ programme has encouraged staff who are responsible for commissioning and leading investigations to take a ‘last resort’ approach to launching them and to pursue informal options to address issues wherever possible. It has also emphasised the need for managers to collect as much information about the specific circumstances as possible, before they make the decision about whether to proceed with a formal process.

This focus is supporting a person-centred approach to investigations with a commitment to learning and continuous improvement, rather than using the disciplinary process inappropriately.

A key part of the programme has been the training, which has been attended by over 120 managers and senior leaders from across the organisation.

Judith Paget, Chief Executive of NHS Wales, presented the teams with their awards and said:

“The ‘improving employee investigations’ work – developed by Aneurin Bevan University Health Board – is an important programme for all NHS Wales. We know that the application of our disciplinary policy can cause harm and the focus on delivering it more compassionately is crucial for the health and wellbeing of our people.

“We also know that employee investigations can have a wider impact on an organisation’s culture and potentially the quality of care we provide to our patients and public – which is why this work calls for them to only ever be used as a ‘last resort’. It is for these reasons, that I am delighted the programme has won both the workforce and outstanding contribution to transforming health and care categories in this year’s NHS Wales Awards.

“Thanks to support from Health Education and Improvement Wales, it’s encouraging to see the programme being taken up by organisations across NHS Wales – reducing avoidable employee harm and making a real difference to our workforce and the patients they serve.”

Since it was launched in July 2022, the programme has seen a 67% reduction in the number of investigations commissioned across the Health Board.