Lizzie Barrett November 3, 2022

People and culture – what comes next….

I am now past my fourth week, and I have had the opportunity to meet many wonderful colleagues and partners and I wish to thank you all for such a warm welcome.  I have connected and listened to colleagues in primary care, local authority, across senior leadership and Executive teams, and I have been struck by the desire to be and do something different and add value to our system.  I believe we have a great opportunity to turn up the dial on recognising, nurturing, and developing our people and I am confident that our new system People and Culture function will add value to you and our community.    

Progress in establishing and developing our new People and Culture function is something that I wish to keep you all up to date on.  Why? Because a function that is here to serve its people must remain connected, engaged, and importantly, actively listening to the needs and opportunities across our health and care system.

I will therefore aim to update colleagues and partners every 2-3 weeks with our progress and development.  This may range from outlining our immediate priorities, updating you on recruitment to key roles into the new function and sharing ways in which we would like you to be involved.  

By way of providing first insight into our progress, I wish to share two key things that I consistently remind myself and invite you all to be part of:

  1. Journey: An act of travelling from one place to another
  2. Deliberate: Done consciously and intentionally

We are all part of a journey where we will experience obstacles and solutions to safely navigate a way forward.  What is important in our journey is that we are deliberate in our chosen approach and actions for improvement.  I am sure many of you have heard the expression, fail to plan, plan to fail.  Establishing an effective function requires careful consideration, time to engage, listen and identify areas to prioritise based on need and importantly shared leadership and direction.  We will therefore ensure our journey to establishing our new function is one that is deliberate and works hard to ensure engagement and partnership working is at the heart of all that we do. 

So, what is happening right now and what am I involved in? 

  1. Recruitment to the role of our new Chief People Officer.  I will lead alongside and support our new Chief People Officer and we will optimise each other skills to successfully deliver our people and culture vision and objectives.  Interviews for the role are planned for late November.
  2. Identification of key roles within the new function and the transition/recruitment into these roles.  We are actively recruiting into those roles identified as critical in the first phase of our new function. This includes a system Lead role for EDI.  We hope to advertise this role in the next 2 weeks.   
  3. Securing support to develop a system OD Plan to be in place by April 2023.  Our OD Plan will outline areas of system priority, including: workforce leadership and talent development, strengthening equality and equity across our workforce, supporting teams in culture improvement and engagement and applying tools and ways for system objectives to be led well, communicated well and delivered with impact.  Widening participation is something that is at the forefront of my mind.   
  4. Produce a stocktake of work to date across the areas of People and Culture.  We now have a stock take of the enormity of work that has taken place across our system and we are now in the process of further refining this work and that which will be the responsibility of the system People and Culture function and that which is led, for example by Provider Collaborative.  This work will take some time and will also support our future governance and assurance processes.  We are making good process on this.  
  5. Consider the role of provider collaboratives and principle of a system focussed people and culture function.  We have started conversations with key leads utilising the stocktake information, national guidance and together we will define roles and responsibilities based on value, impact, and expertise.  We will keep you a breadth of this work.    

This is just a small insight into our progress, and I promise that we will keep you updated on a regular basis.  Equally and where appropriate, we will ask for your engagement and help towards our journey to establish a highly effective People and Culture function for all system partners and colleagues. 

I am very keen that we remain connected and engaged with you all and please do get in touch if you have any questions, comments, or feedback.  I will do my upmost to help and respond in a timely manner. 

Emma Challans-Rasool, Director of Organisational Development, Culture and Talent