Senior nurses across two Black Country NHS Trusts have been clearing their diaries to spend time with their clinical teams as part of a #BackToTheFloorFriday initiative.
This sees Matrons, Ward Managers and nurses in senior and management roles working on wards and in community services across Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT).
Some staff have been doing so for a while but there is now much more of an emphasis on both organisations embracing the chance to engage with staff by getting on board.
The move is aimed at ensuring a greater insight into the challenges and opportunities within clinical areas and building on the teamwork ethos of the Trusts.
Kay Crowther, Deputy Divisional Director of Nursing – Community at Walsall Healthcare, did her shift at Goscote Hospice.
She said: “I decided to do a night shift at the hospice as I wanted to appreciate what it is like for our nurses working off site in a specialised area.
“I was blown away by the care and compassion that I observed during quite a busy shift. The four nurses showed me what teamwork is all about. I think that the back to the floor Fridays are a brilliant idea – giving us protected time to spend with our staff on the frontline and I hope they never stop.”
Martina Morris, Deputy Director of Nursing across both Trusts, spent a recent shift on Fairoak Ward at Cannock Chase Hospital, part of RWT, while Debra Hickman, Director of Nursing at RWT, did likewise on Maternity.
Martina said: “There were many highlights from my time on the ward, but the best one was being able to spend quality time speaking to the patients and staff. The holistic approach to patient care I observed was excellent.”
Professor Ann-Marie Cannaby, Group Chief Nursing Officer for the Trusts, said the initiative might often see senior staff doing clinical shifts and said feedback so far had been “hugely positive” from staff and patients.
She added: “Lots of staff are approaching me, asking me to come to their wards, which is great. This sort of engagement can only be good; it helps staff who see us realise we’re only human, we’re approachable, we’re all one team and we’re on their side.”
Ann-Marie recently joined the Pharmacy team at Walsall for her #BackToTheFloorFriday as the Trusts look to take the idea beyond nursing staff.