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NHS Trusts / Senior Care / 17.01.2020

Driving NHS value through performance with heart

By Steve Cenci, Managing Director, Compass UK&I Healthcare.

At Medirest, our people are our business. They’re a vital factor in setting us apart from our competitors and they play a critical role in how we deliver value to the NHS. 

I had a twelve-day stay in hospital back in 2010 and it opened my eyes to what a difference a humble support services worker can make to a patient’s whole experience. Thrown into an alien, highly clinical environment, it was facilities workers who brought some normality to my day. The people who served me a cup of tea, pushed my wheelchair to appointments, or cleaned my ward. They became familiar faces and took the time to chat about normal things I could relate to. Plus, because they weren’t under as much pressure as the clinical staff, I found their more relaxed approach lowered my stress levels. 

It brought it home to me how much of an impact the right services staff can have on the patient experience. That’s why, at Medirest, we focus on recruiting individuals who can deliver our strapline — performance with heart. As a result, we seek out people who actively want to work in the pressurised environment of a hospital; it’s counterproductive to shoehorn people into an environment they’re not comfortable with. So we look for caring and empathetic team members who value interaction with patients and the way their service and communication help patients to live better lives. We recruit people who are interested in people and will notice a patient deteriorating then bring it to the attention of the nursing staff. 

This approach creates an attitude that sets us apart and means that I can pick out the Medirest people in a room, just by watching how they go about their work. And when we’ve found the right people, they tend to stay, providing a high-quality, skilled service as well as important continuity to our clients. We’re proud to say that 80 per cent of our apprentices go on to a long career within our Compass family. 

We make sure these ‘right’ people have all the training, leadership and mentoring they need to excel. For our frontline teams, this means thorough mandatory training for core skills in health and safety, infection control and safeguarding. Only then do we move on to focus on teaching the specific skills they’ll need for their role. And once these Medirest team members are ready to work on the frontline, we move on to encouraging consistently high performance with heart. Through our popular reward and recognition activities we increase engagement and motivation.  

Only recently, our Be a Star scheme highlighted a prime example of how our people live our values. Noticing a café visitor having a seizure, one of our team members, Patrick McGee, made sure the patient had someone with them and then ran to A&E to fetch help, alerting staff faster than an emergency call would have. Patrick’s constant focus on putting the patient first made a real difference, and it’s an honour to have him on our team. 

Our people are the heart of our business and a crucial part of how we deliver value to the NHS. Find out how they fit into our wider value proposition by reading our response to the Public Value Framework, ‘Taking the Public Value Framework forward’, today.

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