Our Bridgewater PEOPLE values have never been so important to us as we strive to improve our people practices.
A just and learning culture is one that is focused on fairness and learning.
It is a culture that is absent of blame when things go wrong. It is important that we learn from mistakes and put safeguards in place to ensure they do not occur again.
It is important to be supportive and reflective, while simultaneously not accepting that we can be tolerant of every incident. We are at the beginning of our journey in partnership with our Staff-side colleagues.
A great deal of work has been done to reduce the number of disciplinary cases and associated suspensions within the Trust.
The length of time that investigations take through to hearings and subsequent appeals can be problematic and seriously affect the health and wellbeing of colleagues. This, in turn, can affect safe service delivery.
Our journey involves us looking, in partnership, for alternative solutions to Trust procedures where appropriate.
Attention will be focused on the initial stages of our processes and procedures and how we determine the next steps with formal proceedings being a last resort. Emphasis will be placed on investigating and understanding the incident in the first instance to get to a place of understanding.
We want to create an environment where staff feel supported and empowered to learn when things do not go as expected, rather than feeling blamed. We are committed to developing a framework to support learning from incidents including supporting staff, how to debrief effectively, and to provide governance and validation mechanisms to improve the safety and experience of the people we serve and our colleagues so that risks are addressed and learning is maximised.
Overall, we aim to create a safe, kind and compassionate environment.
Alongside our Freedom to Speak Up Guardians, our HR Team and our Staff-side colleagues, we are now developing training plans to implement a framework to embed a just and learning culture.
Our journey has the full commitment of the Trust Board and Trade Unions.
‘Respect and Civility’ has never been more important – being polite, courteous, respectful, and treating everyone with dignity and respect and according to their individual needs should be the standard.
The training package will highlight the importance of behaviours to equip managers and staff with the necessary confidence and tools to speak up.
In instances where procedures are referred on to, all parties will fully understand the reasons why.
Key policies and procedures that link to this work include, disciplinary, grievance and dignity and respect at work.
We are committed, in partnership, to further reviewing our people practices, policies and procedures as our journey gets underway.