A caring Nurse has won a prize for her special welcome for new starters following a competition at two Black Country NHS Trusts.
Hayley Traverse, Practice Development Nurse, Emergency Department in the Urgent and Emergency Care Centre at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, finished as a runner-up in the ‘Warm Welcome’ competition run by Walsall Healthcare and partners The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT).
The competition was designed to reward clinical areas for the best warm welcome afforded to new starters to their teams.
Every year, more than 250 Student Nurses arrive at the two organisations and, from March 2022 to now, 383 internationally-educated Nurses and Midwives on the Trust-wide Clinical Fellowship Programme have also arrived across both Trusts.
This can be extremely challenging, particularly for the latter group, with a new culture and sometimes new language to learn, as well as new and different ways of working.
During the three-month window for the competition, teams from the three top entries welcomed a total of 41 new recruits between them.
In a tight contest after entries from multiple departments, Kerry Paxon, Sister, Care Co-ordination Adult Community, won and Kathryn Allport, Practice Development, Workforce, Recruitment and Retention Lead Midwife at RWT, was the other runner-up.
Hayley’s new starters receive a welcome goody bag, early contact before starting the job and a supportive induction. Kathryn’s team make welcome phone calls and send postcards, gifts of wild flowers seeds and host a meet and greet event.
One team presented Fellowship Nurses with warm winter hampers, and supporting them to find accommodation. Special acknowledgement was made to Amanda Bevan-Webster and Neuro Rehabilitation Unit, RWT for this.
Catherine Wilson, Deputy Director of Nursing for both Trusts, said: “We ran this joint Trust-wide initiative because it’s vitally important that new recruits receive a warm welcome when they start with us. If their basic needs are met, they will thrive in their early days here, progress, stay and hopefully flourish with us.
“The standard of entries was both heart-warming and encouraging. All applications demonstrated the fantastic work everyone is doing to support, welcome and retain our new Nurses and Midwives.
“Judging was extremely difficult but Kerry edged it with the range of ideas she has put in place to make staff feel welcome.”
Kerry, based at Wolverhampton Science Park, introduced a New Starter Facilitator role to ensure starters have a seamless transition, plus follow-on induction at 30, 60 and 90 days, which received excellent feedback. For her efforts she won a £40 gift voucher and a certificate and her team won sweet treats.