Southampton nurses go from the ward to the boardroom to develop new skills


Nurses from Southampton’s teaching hospitals swapped their ward rounds for roundtable discussion as they role-played the management team of a fictional NHS organisation.

The team of four representing Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust at the Nursing Times Challenge 2010 walked away with two awards for their part in creating a successful simulation of the health service.

Matrons Mark Oakley and Jacqui Swanston, along with sister Jackie Matthews and charge nurse Craig Emerson, met with fellow professionals from 22 other hospital teams across the UK at the event in Coventry designed to develop leadership skills.

The event gave frontline staff a chance to experience everything from managing budgets and media handling to collaboration between different NHS organisations, including the close working relationship between primary care and hospital trusts.

In light of the tough financial outlook for the country and the health service, the groups were set a task of making a 10% saving in a fictitious financial year.

“The aim of the day was to provide a simulation of the NHS in England that we are likely to encounter over the coming years,” said Mark, an acute medical unit matron at Southampton General Hospital.

“The challenge encouraged innovation and collaboration among teams, took us all out of our comfort zone and constantly pushed us with various incidents and untoward events presented throughout the day.”

Mark and the other three team members were recognised for their efforts in the best media relations and best partnership categories on the day.

The awards marked their skills in conducting a press conference on the closure of an emergency department and teamwork with colleagues from Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust.

Posted on Wednesday 14 April 2010