Yeovil District Hospital: ‘Developing Positive Relationships’

The Story

Yeovil District Hospital like others across the country has had to respond to increasing patient demand and severe budgetary challenges. An internal change programme meant fewer people, yet the desire and determination to provide the highest quality service for the local community remained undiminished.

It is of course, not only clinical staff who are faced with minute-by-minute demands on their time and skills but also their other colleagues, not least the administrative and secretarial teams. Balancing the needs of the patients and the available resources is a difficult task. Communicating with anxious and sometimes demanding patients and relatives, and responding quickly and positively to the needs of their clinical colleagues can be stressful to say the least. To support staff to handle increased workloads and to manage challenging situations assertively YDH decided to commission its own ‘Developing Positive Relationships’ Programme.

The Programme

This tailor-made ‘Developing Positive Relationships’ programme focused on building the knowledge, skill and confidence to:

  • Win praise and commendations from patients, their friends and relatives.
  • Provide a consistently concerned, responsive and flexible approach
  • Make everyone feel welcomed and safe
  • Generate productive and cooperative relationships with patients
  • Be confident to say ‘No’ in a way that is not interpreted as being obstructive, strict or authoritarian
  • Have the ability to deal assertively with situations that require it and bounce back from difficult encounters
  • Cooperate with others and work as a team and not to talk angrily or disparagingly about patients, visitors or one another

The Impact

  • 94% of delegates think the training helps them to do their job better at least once or twice a week
  • 85% of delegates now make more of an effort to collaborate with colleagues to resolve differences
  • 81% of delegates would recommend this training to colleagues

The Reaction

A goosebump-inducing letter from Kirsty Whitehand, a Medical Secretary in the Urology & General Surgical Unit at Yeovil District Hospital:

Dear Righttrack,

I am a medical secretary at Yeovil Hospital. My job is a very hectic, busy and demanding. Stressful is actually an understatement! However I have always tried to remain positive and calm…When I was told we had to take part in the RightTrack Developing Positive Relationships training, if I am completely honest…

I was dreading it! I thought what a waste of a day! I am already very positive and what could this possible teach me? Boy was I wrong!…

This was a wonderful and interesting training programme to be a part of. I not only learnt a lot about myself but a lot about others and how we all interact depending on one another’s behaviour. I learnt how my own behaviour can have a profound effect on another person, right down to whether I answer the phone in a friendly voice or the door with a smile. I especially enjoyed the empathy video. This made me look and think about people in a very different way on a daily basis.

I have learnt to look at things from a person’s point of view before they have even told me there problem; trying to read people, their reactions and their facial expressions. This has been most helpful with my own children. I realised I was spending so much time worrying about how busy I was and how tired I was and not realising that when they want to tell me about their day, this was them trying to be closer to me and share this with me, rather than them trying to annoy and bother me while I am making tea.

So I have learnt to listen a lot more than I did. This has proved my most valued gift, as my children are so much calmer, less frustrated and much happier in such a short time, simply by me taking more time to listen to them. I stop and put down whatever I have in my hands and give them my full attention and it is amazing the difference this has made!

I have already recommended this RightTrack training programme to all my colleagues as it has benefitted my overall outlook on life and I think anyone can benefit from looking in from the outside; it’s the only way to truly see a situation from all angles. It has enabled me to react to other people behaviour in the `right’ way! If I was offered this training again, I would jump at the chance!

This program gives you everything you need and more to help you be a more positive, empathic, caring person and I will incorporate these skills into my day probably for the rest of my life!

Thank you RightTrack for giving me this opportunity and having such a positive effect on me! Keep up the good work because it really can make this amount of difference to one person’s life!

Kind Regards,
Kirsty Whitehand

Client Feedback

“As part of a change programme Yeovil District Hospital decided to provide personal skills training to non-clinical secretarial and reception staff. RightTrack were the clear winners of the tender process and gave time to ensure the training was researched and our needs were fully catered.

The response to the course called ‘Developing Positive Relationships’ has been outstanding, in particular the ‘Colours’ exercise which really enables people better to understand themselves and others, and to work cooperatively with both patients and colleagues. We strongly recommend RightTrack to other organisations looking for customised in house training.”

Mark Appleby,
Head of Workforce Performance and OD,
Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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