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‘It’s never been more important to look after our people,’ SCFT’s Director of HR on what more we’re doing to support our teams

Date: 25 June 2021 to 31 December 2098

At SCFT we’re a big team; there are more than 6,000 of us spread across East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove.

Each one of us brings something different to the table. We come from all walks of life, with different experiences, skills, views and perspectives.

While we work within our own separate busy teams, committed to doing the best we can for the people who need us, what unites us, regardless of band, position or role, is the way we all pull together to work as one big team every single day.

It’s what makes me so incredibly proud to work for SCFT.

We know that the last year has taken its toll on us all; personally, professionally, and collectively as teams.

Some of us have worked away from our normal teams for long periods through redeployment. For some, working at home, and shielding, has been incredibly isolating.

Some of us have worked with colleagues who have been seriously ill with COVID or lost members of their family or friends. Some of us have been ill with Covid ourselves.

And while we have now moved through two waves of the pandemic, our teams face new challenges around restoring and resetting our services.

Similarly, we know some of our teams have real recruitment issues and are working under exceptional pressure with heavy caseloads of patients.

It’s never been more important to look after our people and ensure that our managers have all they need to be able to support their teams, rebuild resilience where it’s needed and continue to develop excellence and inclusivity.

That’s why I am delighted to launch the SCFT Healthy Teams Resource as a way of supporting that work across our organisation.

The Healthy Teams Resource has been developed by my team and follows the success of the Healthy Teams Checklist which was completed by many colleagues last year as part of our organisational approach to restoring and resetting our services.

The Healthy Teams Resource is a natural evolution of the Checklist, taking into account how long we have all been working in this different way and the impact of the pandemic on colleagues both personally and professionally.

The resource is full of lots of useful information and advice and features different activities to help managers work with their teams to really reflect on the experiences of the last year.

It’s divided into three sections:

·         Inclusion: recognising and celebrating difference

·         Place of work: reconnecting the team and exploring where we work

·         Wellbeing: recognising the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on individuals and teams

My team will help managers to work through the resource directly with their teams over the coming weeks and months.

We know that by working as a successful team we can do so much more than by working alone.

We’ve done the most incredible job of supporting each other through some of the most professionally and personally challenging times we have ever known.

We’ve seen the very best of people and now our teams need the time, support and guidance to reform, heal and come back stronger than ever.

SCFT colleagues can view and download the Healthy Teams Resource on our staff intranet, The Pulse.

We hope you find it useful and we hope it helps you and your team. We’re keen to hear your experiences, so please let us know how you get on.

Caroline Haynes,
Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development
Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust