Representing estates and facilities professionals operating within the  



Staff Council at Musgrove Park engages on patient care

Engaging the workforce through the creation of a Staff Council earned Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust a shortlisting for HEFMA's 2019 People Development Award. HEFMA finds out more.


The Estates & Facilities Staff Council at the Trust's Musgrove Park Hospital was created around four years ago. Following some particularly difficult issues, staff side and EFM leaders worked together to seek ways in which the team could better collaborate and communicate. The outcome was the creation of a Staff Council, with the aim: "To provide a forum within which department staff representatives can openly discuss issues that have a direct impact on our staff, teams and our service to our patients."


The evolution of the Staff Council has been a credit to the staff. The Director of EFM no longer chairs the forum. Staff now chair with leaders being held to account by the staff through specific actions and feedback created by the discussions and listening within the Council. There is a palpable difference between ‘moaning & groaning’ and ‘honing and toning’. The progress made is illustrated by the fact that the focus now for the Staff Council is on service issues and how that service - and patient care - can be improved, not on leadership complaints or disputes between staff or silos. 


Research has clearly shown the link between engaged workforce and quality/safety. Pulse Check results between January 2017 and October 2018 demonstrate a clear improvement in engagement. 


With a supporting monthly newsletter (linked to Team Briefing) produced by staff, the council diligently considers day-to-day leadership issues as well as any issues affecting the safety and welfare of staff or around the service provided to patients. The council also informs the communication and team briefing process,

disseminates information regarding performance and service challenges and 

appreciates and recognises great work. 


The NHS needs an engaged workforce. Staff within the EFM team at Musgrove Park Hospital are showing great insight and maturity about how to develop and maintain services in support of patient care, through the recognition that we also have to care and look after ourselves.