Airedale Hospital managers have been considering how to strengthen their relationships with staff as part of their reaction to disastrous failings at another centre.
Airedale NHS Foundation Trust board members debated implementing their response to the national Francis Report. The investigation was commissioned following the Stafford Hospital scandal, where neglect and abuse led to hundreds of needless patient deaths.
Commenting during the board’s monthly meeting last Wednesday, director of nursing, Rob Dearden, said: “As an organisation, we have been in a good place, and we haven’t been out of kilter with what the Francis Report is recommending.
“But there is always more we can do. One area I’d highlight is ‘visibility and listening’, which is about making our board more visible through walk-arounds, ward visits and talking to staff and patients.
“We should challenge ourselves about how we can get out there and fully represent our organisation.”
He added board members should be prepared to ask hard, probing questions to uncover any concerns or problems that are not immediately apparent.
He also asked managers to approve a new set of standards designed to ensure patients are treated with dignity and respect.
Mr Dearden said these measures had been very carefully formulated, and needed to be embedded in the foundation trust’s staff recruitment and induction processes.
Ann Wagner, director of strategy and business development, said it was important to recognise maintaining and improving care quality was about more than just monitoring and inspecting.
She stressed the role of “appreciative inquiry”, where staff are asked to give their thoughts on how the foundation trust can be improved.
Non-executive director, Anne Gregory, said she was concerned the foundation trust’s response to the Francis Report was too heavily focused on Airedale Hospital itself.
“We’re concentrating on the hospital, when many of our services are provided in the community,” she said. “I’d like to see more emphasis on the services we provide elsewhere.”