The NHS celebrated its 70th anniversary this week (5 July 2018) with many commentators looking to the future in terms of how it needs to change demographics and new innovations to make it fit for the future. Talent attraction and retention is top of the agenda and ensuring that the 1.7 million staff working for the UK’s largest employer have the right skills to take it forward is vital.
Health & Safety then and now
Arguably one of the biggest things that has changed for the NHS since it was born 70 years ago is its approach to Health & Safety. Not only is it now much more heavily regulated but the system and its patients are much more diverse and complex. With social and medical advancements come great opportunities but also great challenges – and the goal posts are always moving.
As leading health & safety training specialists, we’ve seen how things have evolved over the past 20+ years and make it our mission to stay at the cutting edge of the latest developments, especially for public sector clients like NHS Trusts.
What ‘H&S’ covers
Health & Safety was traditionally seen as a ‘tick box’ exercise to prevent or mitigate major accidents in potentially dangerous environments. But for an organisation like the NHS, health & safety feeds into almost every aspect of how the organisation, and organisations within it, are run. This extends way beyond the hospital environment to care in the community and beyond.
To say that having the right health & safety standards, procedures, and properly trained staff in place is central to the running of the NHS today is an understatement. The cost and time pressures of managing all of this is probably the biggest challenge faced by the organisation.
Making things run smoothly
Of course, patient care must be the priority and, vital as it is to get health & safety compliance right, getting too bogged down in the processes and systems can be a distraction from the real focus.
Our health & safety team delivers a unique package of inspection and comprehensive tailored training to organisations like Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust, which is specifically designed to save time and money, mitigate risk, and allow NHS organisations to focus on quality of service delivery while being compliant.
Our in-depth knowledge and understanding of specialist mental health Trusts means that time-consuming and costly mandatory inspections, reports, observations, and training can be undertaken, designed, and delivered independently within the required timeframe for maximum convenience and minimum disruption to day-to-day running of vital services.
By coordinating the provision of qualified independent H&S inspectors, we relieve the Trust of the time-consuming, complex task of sourcing them itself. We also free the Trust up from the meticulous and demanding process of compiling the reports that must be published for transparency and regulatory compliance.
Our training team includes specialists in every healthcare field and management discipline, who are always abreast of the latest developments and breakthrough techniques. It is a depth of resource that would be prohibitively expensive to maintain on the payroll and our expertise is delivered efficiently and without fuss as and when required.
With skills shortages an ever-growing threat to quality of care, and capacity/recruitment issues added to by wider challenges like Brexit, making health & safety work for the future of the NHS is a team game, and one which are proud to be a part of.