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CNO Bulletin March 2022


A message from the CNO - Tracey Brigstock


Welcome to March’s CNO Bulletin.

This month is all about compassion, and we want each and every one of our colleagues to feel supported during the difficult periods in their lives

That’s why I’m so excited to share the enhancements we’ve made to our compassionate leave policy. We can now offer parents who experience pregnancy loss more support when they need it most, as well as extending maternity leave for mothers of premature babies.

More details about this, as well as UHCW becoming the first NHS Trust in the UK to sign the Miscarriage Association’s Pregnancy Loss Pledge, will be shared later in the bulletin.

We’ll also share our latest updates from Pathway to Excellence, a Volunteer spotlight and so much more in March’s edition.


In This Issue


Pathway to Excellence

This month we were excited to introduce the first Leadership Development Session for ambassadors and council chairs.

Facilitated by the Pathway to Excellence® team and supported by inspirational guest speakers the feedback concluded that attendees positively agreed they had enjoyed the sessions, learned new information that can be used in practice and felt empowered to influence as a leader within their teams.

The attendees all had the opportunity to network and share ideas around the Pathway to Excellence framework and were committed to relating this to work in their areas. We look forward to seeing some of the amazing work that is a product of the Leadership Development Session & continue to celebrate examples of excellence.

As we move into March we are thrilled to be making further preparations for the Pathway to Excellence® survey which will be taking place later this year & celebrating our document submission on the 8th of April.

To find out more information about our journey to excellence, please visit our TrustNav page: http://trustnav/nursing-and-midwifery/pathway-to-excellence/


Compassionate Leave

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust has welcomed in the New Year by enhancing its compassionate leave for staff and has become the first NHS Trust in the UK to sign the Miscarriage Association’s (opens in new window) Pregnancy Loss Pledge.

By signing the pledge, which forms part of a wider support package now available during the times staff need it most, anyone who experiences pregnancy loss is now entitled to 10 days paid leave (five days for partners) and paid time off is available for any appointments linked to pregnancy loss.

UHCW NHS Trust has also joined eight NHS organisations in signing the ‘Employers with a Heart’ Charter (opens in new window) . As part of this, maternity leave for mothers of premature babies has been extended by the number of days a baby is born before their due date and partners of women will be given two weeks paid compassionate leave on the birth of their premature baby so paternity leave can be taken when their baby goes home.

Other additional measures introduced to support the health and wellbeing of staff include:

  • Bereavement leave for staff extending from three days to 10, with no limit on the number of episodes per year and in cases of child bereavement, colleagues are given 10 days fully paid additional leave.
  • Colleagues undergoing fertility treatment are also now able to take five days paid leave over a 12 month period.

To find out more information about the changes, please watch our video here.


Compassionate Communities

The Compassionate Communities movement aims to build compassion, create friendships, connections, and strengthen community resilience. We look for ways to create lots of different conversations. That might be through a new friendship connection, or attending a group setting for a conversation. One tool we use is story circles, which empowers participants to engage with their own story and the stories of others, realising new things about themselves personally and as a group.

The movement has been used to form new communities for people living with long term conditions, enable bereavement support, create compassionate cafes for staff and tackle poor mental wellbeing in young people.

In line with the new developing Organisational Strategy (2022-2030), the model is also being used to understand the wider needs of the community regarding co-design of services and wider population health improvements. In January 2022, we ran a story circle with the RIPPLE group (a peer support group run in the community for patients with COPD) and used this shared narrative to feed into the Respiratory Long Term Condition Group and the COPD Case for Change.

The findings have proved to be incredibly insightful, highlighting improvements that can be made, which could transform a patients journey. It brought to light that communication and education at the early stages of diagnosis could be key to the empowerment of an individual to become more proactive in the management of their condition, encouraging good choices with the long term result of living happier and healthier lives.

The follow up with the participants of the story circle was equally as enlightening. They felt that by sharing their experiences within the group, they had gained so much knowledge themselves. They felt a sense of pride that their voices were being heard and that together they could be making a difference to the future for themselves and others within their community.


Research & Development: Rheumatology Research Activity

Within the rheumatology research department we are currently running 17 trials of varying complexity. Some are commercial trials for large Pharmaceutical companies involving entirely new (usually biological) therapies for patients suffering from various forms of arthritis and connective tissue disorders such as Lupus or Giant Cell Arteritis. We also run several registry studies following the progress of patients receiving (marketed) therapies over a period of several years to assess the efficacy and safety of these medications.

We currently have a trial run directly from the National Institute for Health Research called “Bioresources” which is looking at very rare conditions such as Systemic Sclerosis or Primary Sjögren's syndrome. A very rare condition is defined as incidence of less than 5 in 10,000 individuals and therefore this research could potentially make a large impact into this patient cohort. 

We continue to work in collaboration on a number of different research trials with some of the most highly achieving academic institutions such as the University of Aberdeen, Oxford University, Manchester University and more.


NHS Pension Response – Additional Seminar Dates for March 2022

Phase one of our Pension Response Project is designed to explore the most impactful way to communicate with you directly and explain the benefits and value of the NHS Pension Scheme and Pensions Tax for staff aged 50+.

We have been working with our pension partners, Isio, experts in the NHS Pension Scheme and Pensions Tax, to deliver a series of seminars on Pensions and Flexible Working and Pensions Tax. The demand for the seminars during phase one of our project has been phenomenal.

We are delighted to be able to offer additional dates for multi-regional seminars for March 2022 (please see links below)

If you are a Nurse, GP Nurse, AHP, Senior Doctors/Consultant, GP or Executive, please join us for one of the following seminars:

Pensions Tax (staff aged 50+, multi-regional)

  • Senior Doctors/Consultants, GPs, Executives
  • Surgeons

Pensions and Flexible Working (Staff aged 50+, multi-regional)

  • Nurses, GP Nurses and AHPs
  • Midwives

There are 50 places available on each Pensions and Flexible Working seminar and 25 places available on each Pensions Tax seminar, slots will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

Booking your place

To secure your place, please use the booking link below for the seminar that you want to attend:

Pensions Tax (staff aged 50+, multi-regional)

  • Wednesday 2nd March 9:30am – 11am
  • Thursday 3rd March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Friday 4th March 9:30am – 11am
  • Monday 7th March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Tuesday 8th March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Thursday 10th March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Friday 11th March 9:30am – 11am
  • Tuesday 15th March 6pm – 7:30pm
  • Wednesday 16th March 9:30am – 11am
  • Thursday 17th 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Friday 18th March 9:30am – 11am
  • Monday 21st March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Tuesday 22nd March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Wednesday 23rd March 9:30am – 11am
  • Thursday 24th March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Monday 28th March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Tuesday 29th March 6pm – 7:30pm
  • Wednesday 30th 9:30am – 11am                

Pensions Tax (staff aged 50+, multi-regional, Surgeons)

  • Tuesday 1st March – 6pm – 7:30pm
  • Wednesday 9th March 9:30am – 11am
  • Monday 14th March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Friday 25th March 9:30am – 11am
  • Thursday 31st March 1pm – 2:30pm

Pensions and Flexible Working (Staff aged 50+ multi-regional)

  • Wednesday 2nd March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Friday 4th March 9:30am – 11am
  • Friday 4th March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Monday 7th March 9:30am – 11am
  • Wednesday 9th March 6pm – 7:30pm
  • Thursday 10th March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Friday 11th March 9:30am – 11am
  • Tuesday 15th March 9:30am – 11am
  • Wednesday 16th March 6pm – 7:30pm
  • Friday 18th March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Monday 21st March 9:30am – 11am
  • Tuesday 22nd March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Wednesday 23rd March 9:30am – 11am
  • Thursday 24th March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Monday 28th March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Tuesday 29th March 9:30am – 11am
  • Wednesday 30th March 1pm – 2:30pm

Pensions and Flexible Working (Staff aged 50+ multi-regional, Midwives)

  • Tuesday 1st March – 9:30am – 11am
  • Wednesday 9th March 9:30am – 11am
  • Monday 14th March 1pm – 2:30pm
  • Friday 25th March 9:30am – 11am
  • Thursday 31st March 9:30am – 11am


Florence Nightingale Foundation: Nightingale Frontline Leadership Support Sessions

My name is Kirsty Blakemore; I am one of the Clinical Education Facilitators in the Practice Development Team, with a clinical background in Emergency Medicine Nursing. I have developed my leadership skills throughout my nursing career, but really wanted to enhance my knowledge of and style of compassionate leadership. I felt being a compassionate leader was vital overall, but particularly needed in my role in providing effective clinical support to our nurses and nursing associates on the UHCW Preceptorship Programme. This is when I explored the opportunity to undertake a Florence Nightingale Foundation Frontline Leadership Support Session. 

Accessing the support session was extremely easy as sessions are held via zoom, and there were several dates and times to choose from. The session looked at utilising a co-consulting approach to action learning. Led by a trained facilitator from the foundation, they provided tools, resources and an interactive environment whereby candidates shared challenges they faced as leaders, and using co-consulting action learning identified possible solutions to overcome these challenges.

I utilise learning from this session in my every day work and I personally feel a huge difference in my confidence and style as a compassionate leader. I also feel that this improvement in my confidence and capability has enabled me to progress in my career, as I have recently secured a 6 month secondment as a Practice Facilitator.

I think any member of the nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals workforce would find the Nightingale Frontline sessions highly valuable in exploring their own leadership style and how we can support compassionate cultures amongst our teams.

If you’re interested in or would like to know more about the Nightingale Frontline Sessions, please follow this link.


Named Doctor for Safeguarding Adults

We would like to announce the recent appointment of Dr Konstantinos Lipas as Named Doctor for Safeguarding Adults. Dr Lipas has worked within the Trust since 2012 and is currently a Locum Consultant in Care of the Elderly. Dr Lipas is delighted to be appointed as Named Doctor for Safeguarding Adults and is looking forward to working in conjunction with the Trust Safeguarding Team, to protect those with care and support needs. Dr Lipas will focus on improving the understanding and implementation of the Mental Capacity Act across the Trust.


CATs: Train the trainer

Critically Appraised Topic Groups (CATs) bring together the expertise of clinical teams, academics and librarians to critically appraise research evidence to determine a clinical bottom-line.

Join Associate Professor for Nursing Liz Lees-Deutsch to find out how you can translate evidence into practice and get answers to your clinical questions by establishing your own CAT group at UHCW.

Click here to find out more.


Staff Facebook

Team UHCW will become more connected than ever from today as we launch our new Staff Facebook group.

This is the place for you to ask questions, post ideas, comments and suggestions, receive updates, share your wins of the day and have conversations with colleagues across the Trust.

The private group is open for everyone who works at UHCW, including ISS, Vinci and our amazing volunteers. To join simply click on the button below or search Team UHCW NHS Staff Group on Facebook.

You must answer the questions to verify your identity and agree to the house rules to be accepted into the group.

Let's use this space to promote kindness, offer support, celebrate greatness and help one another in line with our Trust values.

Please help us to spread the word and make your colleagues aware of how they can get involved.

If you have any questions, please contact


Remember the date

As we move into February we are thrilled to be making preparations for the Pathway to Excellence® survey which will be taking place later this year. In the lead up to the survey we are excited to share some important events in our Nursing and Midwifery Excellence calendar:

Pathway to Excellence® Document Submission Celebration (Friday, 8th April – 14:00-15:00) in the CSB: Please join us for a celebration in recognition and thanks to all, as we submit our Pathway to Excellence® application document.

International Day of the Midwife & International Nurses’ Day: Please join us from 5th to 12th May for a week of celebrations across the Trust.

Please save these dates in your diaries and watch this space for further details and updates about these events. We hope you will be able to join us!

To find out more information about our journey to excellence, please visit our TrustNav page and follow our official Twitter account.


Share your stories

We're always looking for new stories to tell in the CNO Bulletin.

While we can't guarantee everything submitted will be published, if you have anything you would like to be included in a CNO Bulletin please get in contact via the Communications Request Form which is available on TrustNav.


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