South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has been officially recognised as a top quality employer, having been awarded Investors in People (IIP) accreditation.
IIP is a highly prestigious and much sought-after national standard of good employment practice and organisational improvement. It ensures that all staff understand what an organisation is trying to achieve, that staff are appropriately trained and developed and that they are encouraged to take personal responsibility for improving services for the benefit of local people who need care.
The Trust, which provides specialist mental health and learning disability services across Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, and employs nearly 2500 staff was awarded the accreditation following an in-depth and thorough external assessment, which built upon internal assessments by specially trained members of staff.
The assessment feedback report concludes, "It is very evident that South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has come a long way. The history of the organisation is complex, and the organisation itself is relatively large, diverse and geographically challenging. However, the stories that people tell about working in the Trust are generally quite straightforward – their focus is on the users of the services, their needs and their care."
The IIP assessors noted that the Trust’s staff are encouraged to make suggestions and improvements in the way that services are delivered, that learning and development activities are widely available and that staff feel valued for the work they do.
Speaking about achieving IIP accreditation, the Trust’s chief executive, Steven Michael, said, "This is excellent news. IIP accreditation shows that we are an employer that local people would choose to work for and it highlights our commitment to providing a supportive working environment. Without the professionalism and dedication of our highly-skilled workforce we could not continue making a difference to people’s lives and moving our services forward. Our recent authorisation as a Foundation Trust has also underlined that we are a strong, dynamic and successful organisation, committed to working with our members to improve services, in line with what local people tell us is important."
Alan Davis, Director of Human Resources and Workforce Development added, "Research indicates that progressive employment practices, which promote a positive and healthy work environment, are essential to the delivery of safe and effective care services. There is a clear link between investing in our staff and improved care for service users and carers. This is what we are all about, and what attracts people to work in our services. Thanks are due to all staff, and particularly those staff who contributed to the assessment process"
The Trust will continue to work with the Investor in People Standard over the next few years to make further improvements.