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Primecare case study: Staff support and supervision

This case study relates to the Primecare Health redesign project. Please see that page for more information.

The opportunity

A key focus of the Primecare redesign was to support staff to be confident and happy in their roles as they knew that the quality of care they were able to deliver was entirely in the hands of the staff. At the beginning of the project, Primecare had a Care Inspection and was told to use a different supervision form. However, the group felt the form wasn’t conducive to a good conversation and decided to design and try their own version based on their own experiences. 

The change

Staff developed a series of recommendations for supervision questions  with some key additions:

  • Only open questions, no tick boxes
  • The supervision should be focussed, if possible, on feedback from people who use support
  • The supervision should start with a celebration of progress or something the staff member feels proud about
  • There should be opportunities to discuss how valued the staff member feels, and how they can feel more valued
  • Focus on accountability and action to have a clear plan for how to progress

Staff tested out their questions with each other and with other members in the group and  found that it worked best when:

  • People felt heard – like they had an opportunity to get something off their chest without their issue being dismissed
  • People came to a solution together

The management team took these principles and built a supervision form which was based on real staff experience and began testing and refining the process over time.

The outcomes

  • The design of a supervision process which was completely different from assessment and based on feedback from the people accessing support
  • Staff felt more in control of their own development
  • Managers responsible for supervision were more aware of the challenges and struggles staff had in their work. 
  • An open dialogue about how to support staff to feel valued in their jobs
  • It took courage for the management of the group to present the new supervision process as ‘best’ because it came from staff directly, but the local inspector was impressed by the way that they had given staff ownership of the design

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