Developing your skills as an Effective Ward Manager
Today's Chair, Prof Nancy Fontaine, Chief Nurse, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust
Professor Nancy Fontaine was appointed as Chief Nurse and Director of Infection Prevention and Control at The Norfolk and Norwich University Foundation Hospitals in August 2018. Nancy has held two previous Chief Nurse roles, the most recent at The Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, where she was also Deputy Chief Executive, and led the improvement programme for the organisation to exit Special Measures and be CQC rated two thirds Good or Outstanding. Prior to that, Nancy was the Chief Nurse at Whipps Cross University Hospital, London. Nancy holds professorial roles at the University of Essex and Anglia Ruskin Universities, profiling non-medical led research and clinical leadership. Professor Fontaine is a Human Factors trainer and has vast experience in leading organisational Quality Improvement Strategies, which include leadership in cultural transformation and creating stronger and more effective safety and governance programmes. Nancy has led several nationally recognised Patient Experience Improvement programmes and actively promotes working with patients across all clinical and service improvements.
"The role you are doing now is essential for the success of the organisation, but is also integral to the successful outcomes of the patients – that is how important you all are. Think about your own moral compass and think about how you set the tone for your ward or department – your morals, beliefs and values have to be overt and consistent for authentic leadership"
Tips and advice for aspiring Ward Managers
Leah Callighan, Matron, Radiology Nursing, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
In my substantive post on a busy Head and Neck Unit, I am continuously developing myself, my team and the ward environment to ensure each shift is well led and organised. One of my aims is to engage staff to be open to change and be creative. Each Trust will be facing similar challenges such as recruitment, retention and patient flow yet we cannot let these demoralise us. Positive outlooks are infectious and essential to reduce frustration whilst spreading joy in the workplace.
"It’s not just doing the roster, it’s not just doing the ward round… managing people is really hard. Our wards will have problems, we have to be open and we are accountable. How are we going to work as a team to fix this?"
What does an oustanding ward look like from a CQC perspective?
Terri Salt, Inspection Manager, Care Quality Commission
Terri is a currently registered paediatric and general nurse with fifteen years’ experience in healthcare regulation. She holds postgraduate qualifications in healthcare and leadership. Previously, she held senior and board level nursing posts and has led effective change in organisations. Within the Commission, Terri is the clinical lead for Schwartz Rounds and the lead for Equality, Diversity and Human Rights in the hospital’s directorate. She is also the operational representative on the National Cancer Strategy implementation group.
She has recently completed a year’s secondment to a Head of Hospital Inspection role covering London but has now returned to work in the south east. Terri awarded the first Outstanding rating nationally, for end of life care at Frimley Park Hospital and has since led inspections of more Outstanding hospitals than any other member of CQC staff. Most recently she led the inspection of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – the first acute trust in the country to be rated Outstanding in all domains.
"Your ward can be outstanding or excellent within a Trust that is on special measures. You could provide a pocket of excellence. Outstanding care is actually cheaper to provide. Pressure damage is costing the NHS. What ward managers do does more to improve mortality than anything else in the Trust"