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Effective Ward Manager: Speaker News and Updates

This One day conference provided a unique opportunity to learn from the experiences of other Ward Managers and Nurse Directors develop effective ward manager skills.

The conference provided updates on key issues facing Ward Managers in practice including changes to the Ward Manager role.

The conference, chaired by Jonathan Willis, Ward Manager, Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust, aimed to bring current and aspiring Ward Managers together to understand current issues and the national context, and to debate and discuss key issues and areas they are facing in practice.

The conference included a session from the Care Quality Commission looking at the new inspection process at Ward Level and what 'Well-Led" looks like in terms of the Ward Manager role. Using case studies from trusts that have been through the inspection process the session will demonstrate what a good ward looks like from the CQC perspective.

Following the chairs introduction the conference opened with presentations on Delivering ward accreditation for quality and Safe Staffing: Getting it right on the ward. Following the morning tea break Kate Sanders Practice Development Facilitators Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNS) delivered a presentation on Leadership development for Ward Managers and discussed:

  • delivering transformational personal and ward based change through ward sister leadership development
  • developing leadership qualities and behaviours against a framework
  • meeting the CQC well led domain at ward level
  • ensuring a wider understanding of the whole organisation/system in which ward managers work
  • our programme and ward manager perspectives

Kate Sanders Practice Development Facilitators Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNS) Full Presentation Click Here

Kate’s presentation will introduced the work of the Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNS), to support nurses and nurse-led teams to develop and share innovative ways of improving practice and workplace cultures. It will acknowledge the crucial role of ward sisters and managers in leading and facilitating development and transformation. FoNS’ Creating Caring Cultures model will be shared through a short animation. Experiences of using it to structure a leadership programme for ward managers and team leaders will be shared.

In her presentation Kate stated: 

"Ask staff ‘what is it like to work here?’ this can create a shared purpose, important step in culture change.  Values and beliefs, can change attitudes and behaviours.  Teams work more effectively with shared goals.  Develop action plans through shared decision making.  Review progress, what has worked, how can we keep improving?"

"Try to prioritise staff – they have such good ideas – management need to use them."

"Model the way – leadership style, help staff feel valued and appreciated, enhance wellbeing, happy staff, happy patients.  Effective communication."

"Inspire a shared vision – how things are done and how this impacts services.  Need to encourage staff to have voice, create a shared vision.  But you have to follow through with this and actually implement changes.  E.g. inform interview questions for new staff."

"Challenge the process – be open, stand back and observe, share experience and challenge one another."

"Enable others to act – engae staff, empower staff by recognizing their strengths, explore ideas for team building and staff development."

"Encourage the heart – celebrate good practice, recognize the importance of celebrating success and achievements."

"Ward managers – using their influence – by coming together and using knowledge of what’s happening they can send messages upwards and influence practice.  3 ideas – effective meetings with 2 way dialogue, improve recruitment process so they have influence over it, working towards supernumeral(?) status award managers."

Kate Sanders Biography:

Kate Sanders joined the Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNS) as a Practice Development Facilitator 15 years ago. Prior to this she worked clinically in a variety of acute and community settings where she became increasingly interested and involved in activities and initiatives to improve practice. At FoNS, Kate has led a number of improvement programmes. This involves working with nurse-led health and social care teams to develop and share innovative ways of improving practice; thereby enabling them to provide care that is person-centred, high quality and evidence-based.

Kate actively represents FoNS on a range of national and international initiatives and boards. She is also the Managing Editor of the International Practice Development Journal, a collaborative initiative between FoNS and the International Practice Development Collaborative and is an Honorary Senior Lecturer with Canterbury Christ Church University, England. 

She is currently studying part-time for a PhD at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, which has evolved out of an increasing interest in the well-being of nursing staff and how this impacts on their ability to be creative and innovative and to deliver person-centred care.

Paul Jebb Experience of Care Professional Lead NHS England Continued the day with a presentation on Improving patient experience on your ward including ‘Always Events’ and discussed:

  • improving patient experience on your ward: practical steps
  • Always Events: setting out the events that should happen on your ward for every patient
  • developing a responsive ward culture
  • an update from NHS England

Paul Jebb Experience of Care Professional Lead NHS England Full Presentation Click Here

In his presentation Paul stated: 

"Experience of care – Leading Change Adding Value Framework being launched today #lead2ad. Better outcomes, better experience, better use of resources.  Funding – how it drives quality rather than just taking money out of the system. 10 commitments and how they will apply to your role and your staff, and also within social care. All on NHS website from midday today."

Find out more here

"What is patient experience – the sum of all interactions, culture, perceptions across the continuum of care."

"What makes a good experience – being an active partner in care, treated as an individual, I am the expert on me, care is coordinated."

"Skills that every clinician need – how to connect with other human beings, how to listen without controlling, recognise, identify and respond to emotion, respond constructively to difference, disagreement and conflict, communicate in such a way that the listener understands and remembers."

"Learn from the past – don’t run from it, both negative and positive feedback.  Support people through that."

"FFT – Friends and Family Test - is a real time local feedback tool – written comments from patients are invaluable source of information and can make real difference to patient experience.  Overwhelmingly a positive tool for you to use, you need to own it."

"Improvement priorities – using plain English, checking patient understanding especially re medication.  Hand hygiene – norovirus.  Dignity – key issue from national surveys.  Noise at night from staff and patients needs managing. Shared decision making – involving patients, carers, towards partnership in care.  Everyone should have a voice to lead some of this improvement."

"That is the focus of Always Events – what should always be happening in their patient experience – these events are important, evidence based, measurable, affordable.  10 pilots currently nationally, between 6-12 months."

Paul Jebb Biography:

Paul qualified as a nurse in 1996 and worked in numerous posts within nursing, as well as a period in operational management, then in 2010 returned to nurse management as Assistant Director of Nursing & Head of Patient experience at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS FT. From October 2014, Paul undertook a secondment to the National Patient Experience team at NHS England as experience of Care Professional Lead, leading on developing Always Events, aspects of the carers work stream and toolkit development to enhance experience of care

Paul has been involved and led on numerous quality improvement initiatives throughout his career, and has gained the extra mile award by the motor neurone disease Association, in 2012 Paul was winner of a national Patient Safety Award, and in 2014 Paul and his team won a national healthcare communications award for best engagement.

In April 2016 Paul became an International Fellow of the England Centre for Practice Development at the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Canterbury Christ Church University. In February 2014 Paul was honoured to be offered an Honorary Senior Lectureship at the University of Central Lancashire.

Paul is also a member of an NMC Professional Standards advisory panel, which aims to give strategic direction to the NMC Executive team and to improve the dialogue between the NMC and leaders in the professions and to ensure expertise, is brought to bear on NMC work. Paul is also part of the strategic group to refresh the NMC Education Standards.

Paul has represented the Royal College of Nursing at local, regional, national and international levels, is a member of RCNi Editorial Advisory Board. Paul also judges several national nursing and health care awards.

Paul has also been the Assistant Chief Nurse (Head of Workforce) for St John Ambulance (England & the Islands), and has held other voluntary roles. In 2012 he was honoured with the award of ‘Officer of the Order of St John’.

Following the lunch break Ellen Armistead Deputy Chief Inspector (Acute) Care Quality Commission delivered a presentation on What does well-led mean at ward level? and discussed:

  • what does well-led mean at ward level: learning from the CQC inspections to date and ward level findings
  • outstanding and good wards: examples and what this looks like in practice
  • what qualities to great wards have?
  • what the inspections will look at on your ward: key lines of inquiry and an overview of the inspection process

In her presentation Ellen discussed the new operating model including:

Keeping 4 ratings: outstanding, good, requires improvement, inadequate (bit like ofsted but for healthcare).

The purpose of the inspections is to drive improvements in healthcare.

Old approach focused on compliance, didn’t give picture of overall quality of care, were undertaken largely by generic inspectors without expert clinical input, did not command confidence, missed important problems.

Now have much more credibility as have addressed the above issues.

What are they looking for?

  • Service vision and strategy
  • Leadership and culture – everyone knows who is in charge, staff are empowered and it ‘feels’ well led, interaction between staff and management
  • Governance risk management and quality measurement (hard to quantify quality outcomes – hard data?)
  • Public engagement – how does this happen and how often do you engage with the public, and what are outcomes
  • Staff engagement – crucial, poor staff survey tends to have strong correlation with poor inspection.
  • Innovation, improvement and sustainability – this is hard to do alongside the ‘day job’!


  • Variation is huge between services within the same directorate.
  • Staffing – well aware of challenges for this area, always an element of this in poor inspection – i.e. if staffing problems/shortages, will get a poor inspection result
  • Caring – no just nurses job, everyone’s job!  If this is the case will get outstanding inspection.  Little things make the difference, gestures of caring.  100 mile rule – would you drive 100 miles to be cared for by this service – benchmark for outstanding.

Ellen is running workshops on this – please contact her directly.

Ellen Armistead Deputy Chief Inspector (Acute) Care Quality Commission Full Presentation Click Here

Ellen Armistead Biography:

Ellen Armistead is currently a Deputy Chief Inspector for hospitals with specific responsibility for community care. She is the former Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust. Having previously worked in the acute sector, the last seven years of Ms Armistead’s career have focussed on community health. Her community services include community nursing and therapy services, primary care, urgent care centres, community hospitals, sexual health, and smoking cessation as well as children and family services.  Also, Ms Armistead brings her professional experience from her background in nursing. She has worked for the CQC as a specialist advisor.

Future events of interest:

Masterclass: Setting up your Nurse-Led Clinic
Tuesday 5 July 2016
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Nursing Appraisal: Supporting Revalidation and the NMC Code of Practice
Thursday 7 July 2016
ICO Conference Centre, London

Nursing Metrics for Quality Measuring quality in nursing and improvement against the 6Cs
Friday 8 July 2016
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Nurse Prescribing for Pain
Friday 8 July 2016
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Effective Nurse Prescribing in End of Life Care
Friday 16 September 2016
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Masterclass: Nursing Revalidation
Tuesday 20 September 2016
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Masterclass: Nurse Led Discharge
Wednesday 21 September 2016
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Ward Manager Summit: Developing your skills as an Effective Ward Manager
Wednesday 21 September 2016
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Nurse Prescribing in Mental Health
Tuesday 27 September 2016
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Nurse Prescribing in Paediatrics and Child Health
Wednesday 5 October 2016
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Nurse Prescribing in Cardiology
Friday 21 October 2016
De Vere West One, London

Nurse Clinics 2016
Wednesday 9 November 2016
Hallam Conference Centre, London

18 May 2016


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