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CNO Bulletin October 2022


A MESSAGE FROM THE CNO - Tracey Brigstock

October is a very special month in all our calendars as we join our friends and colleagues across the Trust in celebrating Black History Month.

I’m thrilled to welcome a contribution from our Postnatal Ward Deputy Manager Sophiya Kahraman about her application for the Developing Aspirant Leaders (DAL) programme. We will also share details about the Getting to Equity Sponsorship Programme and free Nightingale Frontline Sessions from NHS Leadership Academy.

We’ll also be sharing the incredible stories of our annual Outstanding Service and Care Awards (OSCAs) 2022, where more than 400 colleagues across Team UHCW were able to celebrate the incredible work we all do.

Finally, you will also have the opportunity to explore Looking After You Too, an individual coaching support offer for staff working in the NHS from ethnic minority backgrounds.




Sophiya Kahraman: Developing Aspirant Leaders (DAL) programme

I am proud midwife of over 8 years. I have gained a lot of experience in every aspect of midwifery; from the highs and lows of what occurs on labour ward, the ecstatic cry of a father who has just become a father, the nervous first time mother who tries to hide her fears of becoming a mother, the newborn who either sleeps and eats like clockwork or the newborn of whom the parents are not sure whether baby is ok or not as he/she just appears to cry all the time, the extensive safeguarding histories with some families and helping them to understand outcomes to the silence or the hysterical cry experienced with a bereaved family.

Midwifery is an exciting career with literally no one day being the same. This is what makes it so exciting. You sometimes feel like a well automated machine, but actually we are all just human.

My passion for midwifery is driven to always do best by each woman and baby I come across. Tailor the care and the needs and wants of that family unit. To never do any harm regardless of pressure within the NHS.

In the past two months I have successfully obtained the role as the Postnatal Ward Deputy Manager of ward 25 and I am thoroughly enjoying my time in this role but importantly continuing to be there with women.

I have used this passion to apply for the Developing Aspirant Leaders (DAL) programme. I saw this as an opportunity to support my colleagues, managers and the wider multi-disciplinary team with increased morale and a reason to deliver change for the better and inspire midwives to act on their love for their career by giving them strategies to deliver safe and effective care.

I am aware the DAL programme will give me a deep insight into the daily efforts of senior management to ensure safety is key and then moral of the staff.

Applying for the programme, I was extremely nervous, but I just knew I had to do it because I am so passionate about the contents of the programme and what is stands for, I realised that I had nothing to lose. I wrote a personal statement of my experience in midwifery so far, passions and my goals. But the scariest part of the application was to film myself, explaining why I thought I was the ideal candidate for the course.

Although, so keen and confident when talking to women and families on a daily basis and being able to effectively manage emergency situations, doing the video felt something more nerve wracking.

It is probably because I am so passionate to be able to make that change and provide support and leadership to make the environment an even safer place for the women, babies and families we look after, but also a safe environment for all midwives, maternity support workers (MSW’s), obstetricians, paediatrician’s, ward clerks and surrounding members of the mutli-disciplinary team. In my eyes, if we work a harmonious way, we will always achieve the best outcome for most if not all women who are under our care.

I am so eager to start the programme and cannot wait to know what my thoughts will be this time next year. I am thankful to have been given the opportunity.


NHSE Regional Chief Midwife’s visit to Maternity

On August 11th Maternity welcomed a visit led by NHSE Regional Chief Midwife and the LMNS to gain assurance with the 7 Immediate and Essential actions (IEAs) from the first Ockenden report which was published in December 2020.

Evidence was submitted prior to the day to demonstrate audit findings and board level reporting in relation to the 7 IEAs.

On the day the teams led focussed groups with all levels of staff including the CEO and the board level maternity safety champions, the Senior Management team and Midwives and Obstetricians and undertook a full walk round of all clinical areas.

Both initial feedback on the day and the formal feedback received concluded that the team were really impressed with what they had seen and had really enjoyed their visit. Particular points they highlighted included:

  • Ockenden themes were well embedded and implemented across the Trust
  • Cohesive and collaborative leadership across all levels of the organisation
  • Quality improvement embraced at all levels
  • Improvements in practice following incidents observed
  • Good engagement with the Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) and equality work for BME service users
  • Excellent international recruitment programme
  • Informative maternity safety production boards and governance boards.


Points of consideration for the department:

  • Links between the MVP and the maternity safety champions to be strengthened
  • To increase evidence of co-production with service users
  • Review process for  choice for women with vulnerabilities and complex pregnancies
  • Progress with the Bereavement suite
  • Improve transitional care pathways
  • Potential risk with the new EPR system as replacing a fully functioning Maternity system


Looking After You Too: Coaching for NHS staff from ethnic minority backgrounds

Looking After You Too is an individual coaching support offer for staff working in the NHS from ethnic minority backgrounds.

This confidential service aims to support staff maintain psychological wellbeing. Through individually tailored coaching sessions which will focus on proactively supporting you to process experiences, deal with difficult conversations, develop coping skills and develop practical strategies to maintain your health and wellbeing.

This one-to-one health and wellbeing coaching is provided by a highly skilled and experienced coach from an ethnic minority background. It might be that through a one-off conversation you find all the strategies and goals that you need to cope with your situation and stay well or you might find a few sessions helpful. It is all led by you.


What’s the Offer?

  • Looking After You Too (LAYT) coaching is a one-to-one wellbeing support offer for staff from ethnic minority backgrounds working in the NHS (clinical and non-clinical).
  • The coaching service is provided by trained coaches from ethnic minority backgrounds who will help you develop practical strategies to manage and maintain your health and wellbeing.
  • LAYT coaching is confidential and free. No details are shared with employers and the coaches are external to the NHS. It can provide you with a safe and judgement-free space to deal with difficult conversations and build resilience.


What is Coaching and how might it benefit me?

  • Coaching can provide huge personal benefits particularly at times of change. It can also facilitate goal attainment, enhance well-being and resilience.
  • Common benefits people experience from receiving coaching include:
    • Direction and focus
    • Increased effectiveness
    • Stronger motivation and confidence
    • Increased resourcefulness
    • Improved wellbeing


How do LAYT Coaching sessions work?

  • Coaching sessions are available via phone or video call, seven days a week, at a time that suits you.
  • The first session will last up to 45 minutes.
  • Subsequent sessions will be dependent on the conversation between you and your coach.


How do I book?

To book a coaching session follow the link below:


Getting to Equity Sponsorship Programme

The Getting to Equity Sponsorship Programme was launched in September 2021, to provide an evidence-based framework for Chief Nurses and Directors of Midwifery (sponsors) to promote the careers of aspiring ethnic minority nurses and midwives. Sponsors were challenged to spot the potential of nurses/midwives currently not being harnessed possibly because of race inequality and to then nurture this talent so they are in a position to progress.  The programme aimed to recruit nurses and midwives graded 8c and above but soon recognised that there was a limited number of minority ethnic nurses and midwives at that level, and therefore accepted band 8b nurses and midwives who were deemed ready and suitable for the programme.

Nationally at least one in every five nurses and midwives comes from an ethnic minority background, but we do not see a similar proportion in senior management roles. According to WRES data (2020):

  • There are only 170 ethnic minority senior nurses out of a total of 2,125 at Band 8c to Band 9
  • There are only 15 ethnic minority Nursing Directors out of 330
  • Only 23.9% of midwives are from an ethnic minority group
  • There are only 59 ethnic minority midwives(8c to 9) compared to 1973 total

On the Sponsorship programme I met nurses and midwives from all over the country and had the opportunity to discuss issues around the lack of opportunity, we shared experiences and how we dealt with these situations. Many also felt that nurses from a minority ethnic background had to work harder than their white colleagues in order to be recognised and to progress. Attending the programme also gave an opportunity to connect into the power of sponsorship, having the backing and support of the Chief Nurse gave the chance to be exposed to situations which may not have previously been possible.

I completed the course during the pandemic and chose to complete the online programme on site as I needed to be available to support my team. I found 8 hours on Microsoft Teams difficult and had interruptions from colleagues, however I still took away some key messages;

  • Be clear about what you want, have an open mind
  • Ask for help when needed
  • Be honest about your challenges
  • Don’t forget your vision and ambition
  • Be an advocate for your own career, actively work to advance your career by pushing yourself to take on challenging assignments

This was the flag ship programme so it was not perfect but following reflections and evaluations I’m sure the programme will evolve. The programme wasn’t about ensuring that BME nurses and midwives are handed senior nursing posts but ensuring those with identified talent are supported and nurtured giving confidence to take opportunities when they arise. I’m sure that both Chief Nurses and Directors of midwifery (sponsors) and aspiring ethnic minority nurses and midwives will continue to benefit from the relationship as a result of sponsorship, the master classes and the opportunity to network.


Nightingale Frontline Sessions

There are free peer to peer support sessions available in the month of October sponsored by the NHS Leadership Academy.

You can access these here.


Winners crowned at 15th-annual OSCAs

Colleagues across the Trust enjoyed a memorable evening at the 15th annual Outstanding Service and Care Awards (OSCAs) ceremony on Friday, celebrating the individuals and teams who embody Team UHCW's values.

The 2022 OSCAs were held at Mercia Venue in Coventry, which welcomed more than 400 guests - a record attendance for UHCW's annual staff awards ceremony.

A total of 16 awards were presented throughout the event which was hosted by BBC CWR Presenter Lorna Bailey.

Our Chief Executive Officer, Professor Andy Hardy, said: "The OSCAs provide a brilliant platform to recognise the ongoing hard work, dedication and expertise you provide day in and day out. This year we have seen a record number of nominations and, I have to say, the quality of entries has been higher than it has ever been. I’m so proud of all of the successes, stories and celebrations of our colleagues and teams in going above and beyond to provide high quality care to our patients. It is truly inspirational."

Congratulations to all those who received their award and thank you to everyone who helped to make the 2022 OSCAs such a special occasion.

We would also like to say a massive thank you to our sponsors: UHCW Charity, The Coventry and Rugby Hospital Company, ISS, Vinci, Warwick Medical School and Coventry University.

You can read in-depth stories about each of our winners in your staff newsletter, ThisWeek@UHCW.


DAISY Award: Sharon Dean

Our amazing nursing staff are always going the extra mile to support patients and their families.

And that dedication has seen Cardiac Rehab Nurse Sharon Dean become our latest DAISY Award honouree.

The DAISY Awards, funded by UHCW Charity, celebrate the skilful and compassionate care of our nurses and midwives.

Sharon’s nomination read: “Sharon is very professional and went the extra mile with her support of me and my family.

“She was always there to help, taking telephone calls from me and my wife about any of our worries. She always found time, even with lots of others to look after.

“She is very compassionate in her approach, explaining everything in great detail.

“You can tell she is very dedicated to her job as a Cardiac Nurse and the support of Sharon and her team has been an enormous help to me and my wife.”

Congratulations Sharon, a deserving winner.

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