Devised in collaboration between Clinical Matron Claire Blake and Staff Nurse Sarah Bean, the tree was created to recognise outstanding practice within the department. “We wanted a way to illustrate how well we’ve been doing as a unit and the tree seemed like a fun and practical way of achieving this”, explains Claire. “By placing snapshots of our accomplishments onto the branches of the tree, it provides a visual record, celebrating good work across the whole multi-disciplinary team.”
Since the launch several months ago the tree has made a great impression, not just on members of staff, but also on patients and visitors to the department. “The tree has been placed in an area where it can be seen by anyone who attends Critical Care”, explains Claire. “All members of staff can see it as they carry out their daily duties and it provides a talking point for patients and their relatives. We find that showcasing our achievements in such a way creates a good sense of morale among staff. It lets them know that their hard work is recognised and appreciated.”
Some of the achievements that now decorate the tree include different awards collected by members of the team; a 100% cleanliness rating awarded in the run-up to the CQC inspection; the team’s use of Charitable Funds (which have been used to better equip wards and departments for state-of-the-art patient care); and their work with the Pastoral Care team to provide a greater level of emotional support for patients and visitors.
“The tree received amazing feedback during the recent CQC inspection”, continues Claire, “and we’ve already been contacted by other departments keen to adopt a similar system to recognise their own successes.”
In addition to the success tree, the Critical Care unit have also set-up a new reward system called Learning from Excellence. Initiated by Consultant Michael Spivey, the Learning from Excellence system is another way Critical Care is recognising and rewarding the outstanding achievements of the team.
“Learning from Excellence was first rolled out in April”, explains Charge Nurse Paul Kimpton. “The nomination process works in a way similar to other awards. An individual, recognised by a colleague, is nominated, either by form or online application. The nomination is then looked at by a series of adjudicators. Anyone can nominate a member of staff for outstanding practice and those awarded are given a certificate, which is read out at the monthly multi-disciplinary clinical governance meeting. It’s just another way of making staff feel valued and learning from the great examples they provide.”
In the first month it was introduced the team received five nominations, but it’s grown steadily ever since. June had almost thirty nominations and the number seems to be increasing month by month. “It’s proving to be incredibly popular” explains Paul, “not just with the team in Critical Care, but across the whole of the Trust.”