COLUMN: Talking about values in NHS Values Week

Maz Fosh, chief executive of LCHS.
Maz Fosh, chief executive of LCHS.

I’d like to talk about values, as it is NHS Values Week, writes Maz Fosh, of the Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS).

These fit nicely with the values in the LCHS, which we call the LCHS Way.

Values can be described as beliefs which direct our actions and behaviour. As you know, the NHS belongs to the people. It is founded on a common set of principles and values that unite communities, patients and NHS staff.

The NHS values are: working together for patients, compassion, respect and dignity, improving lives, commitment to quality of care and that everyone counts. I’m sure everyone would agree that these values are appropriate and are what we would expect from the NHS.

I would guess most people can relate these values to their experiences of NHS care; I know I can. In my organisation, our values are expressed in the LCHS Way. We listen, we care, we act and we improve. This is how we agree we will conduct ourselves. Many of our values come naturally to people, and others can be more challenging to meet, especially if people are working in difficult situations. 

Here’s a flavour of how we bring our LCHS Way to life.  

We care; everyone is valued, respected and developed. The knowledge and skills of our staff are nurtured and we strive to celebrate success. There are many ways staff display these values. For example, we choose to celebrate success. We hold annual Celebrating Success Awards and we encourage staff to apply for external awards. Deborah Faulkner, a staff nurse at Johnson Community Hospital, is a finalist in the national HEAT (healthcare, education and training) Awards and our Urgent Care Streaming service and Clinical Assessment Service team are regional winners in the The Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award at the 2019 NHS Parliamentary Awards.

In our health and wellbeing service, we have decided to use the amazing skills of our very talented workforce to give all staff the chance to take part in wellbeing activities. 

In summary, values are important in shaping how we work and behave in all organisations, but especially people-focused services, like the NHS.

Maz Fosh is chief executive of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust