The project involved developing and implementing a protected professional development day for 90 clinical staff in a children’s hospice. The aim was to support staff with their ongoing development, ensuring skilled, reflective practitioners enabled to deliver high quality and safe care. The second aim was to address the current workforce crisis; the day focused on supporting and positively impacting staff morale, job satisfaction and wellbeing, leading to staff retention. The initiative was in response to the challenges observed in practice including difficulty in releasing staff from shift to complete appraisals and clinical supervision. Appraisals can positively and negatively affect work outcomes including commitment, performance, motivation, satisfaction and consequently turnover of staff.
Staff attended the day with allocated time to undertake their appraisal and meet with the practice development nurse (PDN) to develop a development plan. Spare time was self-directed with suggestions to complete reflections, maintain professional portfolios and completion of competencies. The day ended by bringing staff together for clinical supervision.
On evaluation, 100% of staff believed the days should continue. The most highly rated aspect of the day was time to complete an appraisal, staff reported that they were aligned to the priorities of the hospice with many staff feeling enthused to be involved in new work streams. Staff also rated 1:1 time with the PDN and getting support in planning their future development. Staff achieved clinical competencies, this ensures the delivery of safe care and provides staff with the skills and confidence to meet the increasing level of clinical complexity evident in paediatric palliative care.
The initiative has positively impacted the organisation, including the implementation of new workstreams, resulting in extending service provision for children and families. Outreach initiatives have evolved from staff objectives and a shift in staff autonomy and empowerment to implement change. A positive staff culture has been achieved which ultimately supports a positive patient experience.
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