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Learning at Work Week 2022

Learning at Work Week: Why is workplace learning so important at NCH&C?

Picture of Zoe Young

To celebrate Learning at Work Week, NCH&C’s Organisational Development Consultant, Zoe, created this guest blog post to explain why workplace learning is such an important part of our organisational culture. Over to you, Zoe…

Running from 16-22 May, Learning at Work Week is an annual event to encourage organisations to celebrate and promote workplace learning and its benefits. After the two years we’ve all had, Learning at Work Week is a great opportunity to remind ourselves how important, empowering, and enjoyable workplace learning can be!

We know that at NCH&C, the pandemic has made it very difficult for our people to prioritise their learning and development. This is completely understandable, and we’re sure it’s the same for many healthcare organisations. Now that things are opening up again and returning to normal, we’re using Learning at Work Week as an opportunity to put learning back on the agenda.

Workplace learning is incredibly important, and is an organisational priority for NCH&C. There is plenty of evidence showing that providing employees with inclusive learning opportunities does much more than improve their skills. It boosts morale and retention, supporting people as they develop their careers within our organisation. As you can tell, all of this directly benefits the trust. Good levels of employee engagement also equate to better levels of patient satisfaction.

With over 2,500 employees in hundreds of different roles, we naturally have lots of different types of workplace learning available to suit teams’ and individuals’ needs. The easiest way to find the right learning and development opportunity for you is through our interactive CPD Roadmap. Available on The Loop, this lists many different CPD opportunities available, including apprenticeships, university courses, short courses, workplace learning, and e-Learning. We also have the Leadership Roadmap, which lists all the opportunities available for managers.

Check out these recent tweets to see some of the exciting training we have available…

Learning at work is so important for our development, and NCH&C is fully supportive of this. We have funding available for both clinical and corporate employees to pay for training courses, and we have a study leave policy to help you fit learning around your work schedule.

If you’d like to find out more about apprenticeships at NCH&C, please visit our Talent for Care webpage. For any questions about learning and development, contact our LEAD team on


Celebrating International Nurses’ Day 2022 at NCH&C

Community is the #BestOfNursing: celebrating International Nurses’ Day at NCH&C

Thursday 12 May is International Nurses’ Day.

Held every year on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday, Nurses’ Day is a global celebration of the contribution and commitment delivered by our amazing nurses.

Nurses’ Day is an important date in NCH&C’s calendar, as it provides us with a much-needed opportunity to thank our nurses for their compassion and commitment.

The last two years have created some of the most difficult circumstances for nursing in living memory. The COVID-19 pandemic did not set up nurses for success, and yet they delivered excellent patient care in challenging environments.

Stephen Collman, Former Mental Health Nurse and CEO at NCH&C, expressed his thanks to the trust’s nursing staff:

“I know that every one of NCH&C’s nurses is driven by a passion to provide the best-possible patient care. I also know that the crisis conditions of the last two years have made it incredibly tricky to provide exceptional care, and this has been frustrating for many of you. However, I am so proud of what the trust’s nursing teams have achieved under very challenging circumstances. It may not have felt like it at the time, but your work demonstrated an amazing quality of care and compassion. As the trust moves forwards into business as usual, I know that our staff will continue to shine.”

The Royal College of Nurses declared the theme for Nurses’ Day 2022 is the #BestOfNursing.

Carolyn Fowler, Director of Nursing & Quality & NCH&C, shared her views on the theme:

“While all nurses are amazing, I think there is something truly special about community healthcare and those that work in it. Community nursing allows us to work closely with patients and their families, so you form the kinds of working relationships you can’t always develop in acute trusts or other environments. Our work allows patients to treat our patients’ and carers’ health holistically and as individuals, maximising independence, and living in their own homes – overall, it helps contribute to a greater quality of life for our patients. I am forever proud to be a nurse, and even prouder of our amazing workforce.”

Ahead of International Nurses’ Day, we asked our nursing colleagues to provide us with testimonials that represent why community is the #BestOfNursing. Here are their amazing stories…

Tanya Haines, Tissue Viability Nurse:


“I love to support patients in their own homes. I feel that providing care in the patient’s own home relives the worries and anxieties of travel and waiting at appointments as some of our patients can be very frail- we provide access to health services. I really like the relationships we build with our patients over time our knowing patients over time can help us help them in ways that matter to them.

“I have been working for NCH&C in the community for seven years and I have been very well supported through training opportunities and have been encouraged to develop and grow throughout that time. I am incredibly excited to be starting an MSc Pathway for Skin Integrity and Wound Management in September!”

Tracey Hayton, Community Learning Disabilities Nurse:

“I have been a Learning disabilities nurse for 28 years this year! Over my career as a nurse, I have met some truly inspirational families. There is always something new to learn and a new challenge to meet. The one thing that stands out for me over the years is that it is often the little things that people appreciate. Not the care plan or nursing assessment, but that call you made to check in on them. I always feel lucky to work in a service where we have the time to make this small difference to people’s lives.”

Emma Fox, Community Staff Nurse: 

“Community nursing allows you to truly embrace holistic assessment and care, promoting and supporting independent living within the home and beyond. It gives nurses the opportunity to be independent practitioners whilst also being part of an amazing team, sharing ideas and developing knowledge organically. It is a dynamic place to work, ever evolving, providing variety and challenges, which enable creativity and personal growth. There is no other place I would want to work, and I am grateful that I have the privilege of working within the community nursing field.”

If you’d like to share a story or memory with us, tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or email

We also have a few more media opportunities lined up to mark International Nurses’ Day. Tune in to the Chris Goreham show on BBC Radio Norfolk at 8:40 AM to hear one of our Diabetes Specialist Nurses, Anita Murphy, talk about why community nursing is so important for diabetes care. Later, two of our LD Nurses, Bethany and Natasha, will be on the Kayleigh Poacher show at 12:35 PM. They’ll be discussing how their careers have changed over the last few years.

Any nursing staff who wish to mark International Nurses’ Day are invited to attend a virtual drop-in event hosted by the Norfolk & Waveney CCG. The event runs from 2-3 PM today, on MS Teams.

As well as celebrating and thanking nurses from across the Norfolk health and care system, representatives from each organisation will also be providing an update on nursing news from their patch. Del Mitchell, our Deputy Director of Nursing, will be sharing news of the nursing innovations and initiatives at NCH&C. The event is open to all RNs, student nurses, RNAs, and TNAs.

Once again, join us in wishing a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to our amazing nurses!

Celebrating World Earth Day

World Earth Day 2022: How NCH&C is investing in our planet

We’re marking World Earth Day with the launch of our first sustainability webpage.

Friday 22 April 2022 is World Earth Day: a global opportunity to promote environmentalism and drive action on climate change. This year’s World Earth Day theme is “invest in our planet”, and focuses on engaging citizens, businesses, and organisations to “recognize our collective responsibility and to help accelerate the transition to an equitable, prosperous green economy for all.”

This year, we want to focus on the role larger organisations play in tackling the climate crisis, particularly the NHS. Real, structural change is required if the world is to successfully halt the progress of climate change, and this cannot be achieved by citizen action alone.

The NHS is currently responsible for 4-5% of the UK’s carbon emissions but pledges to reduce this by 51% by 2025. The NHS ultimately aspires to be the world’s first net zero national health service, recognising that climate change constitutes a global healthcare emergency.

NCH&C is committed to supporting the NHS on its journey towards net zero. The trust’s Green Plan is due for publication in the next month and outlines how we will significantly reduce our carbon emissions over the next three years. When finished, this will be available on our new sustainability webpage, launched today. This new page will keep staff, patients, and other stakeholders updated on green activity at the trust and ensure we remain transparent and accountable on our sustainability progress.

Although we still have a long way to go, we’re proud to share that so far in 2022…

  • NCH&C joined NHS Forest: an initiative to plant trees in hospital gardens across the country. Tree-planting helps the NHS reach its carbon reduction goals through carbon capture, improves local air quality, and creates green spaces that can improve patient and staff wellbeing. NCH&C has committed to planting six trees outside Norwich Community Hospital’s Mulberry Unit, with more coming in future months.
  • The trust updated its sustainability criteria for fleet vehicles to reduce carbon emissions. The salary sacrifice scheme now only offers ultra-low emission vehicles (emitting less than 70g of carbon per km, while the company lease scheme only offers low emissions vehicles (less than 130 g per km).
  • We started removing food waste macerators at three of our sites (Dereham Hospital, Mulberry Unit, and North Walsham Hospital). Instead, food waste will be collected by Biffa and processed by anaerobic digestion to create bio-fertiliser and electricity.  Together, this will prevent 0.75 tonnes of C02 from entering the atmosphere for every tonne of food waste disposed of.

The new sustainability webpage also outlines details of green progress made between 2019 and 2021.

While this year’s World Earth Day emphasises the role that organisations like the NHS play in fighting climate change, it is natural that many individuals also want to do their bit. We know that many of our staff and patients are passionate about living and working more sustainably. In fact, citizen action on climate change can drive businesses, organisations, and decision-makers to operate more sustainably.

This World Earth Day, we’d like to encourage our patients and staff to show their support for a Greener NHS in a way that keeps us and other organisations accountable:

  • Find out more about the national Greener NHS programme
  • To learn more, staff can complete the Environmentally Sustainable Healthcare programme on eLearning for Healthcare (available via the Loop)
  • Add the Greener NHS banner to your email signature (available to trust staff on the sustainability page on the Loop)
  • Give us your feedback and ideas on how we can operate more sustainably: email to get in touch

The publication of our final Green Plan in the next month will detail the steps we intend to take as the NHS moves towards net zero. We promise to keep you all updated every step of the way.

Stephen Collman, CEO of NCH&C

John Webster, Deputy CEO & Director of Strategy & Transformation 

Equality, Diversity & Me: Read the first issue online!

Equality, Diversity & Me: Read the first issue online!

We are pleased to share the first issue of our trust equality, diversity, and inclusion newsletter: Equality, Diversity & Me. 

This was pulled together by our EDI Advisor, Mercy, and features contributions from many of our amazing NCH&C colleagues.

The first issue includes:

  • The trust’s EDI promise
  • An introduction to our staff networks
  • International recruitment
  • Cultural awareness events

Click through to read it! Thank you to everyone who helped create this issue of Equality, Diversity & Me.

Equality Diversity and Me – April 22

World Autism Day

A snapshot into the Life of an ASD (autism spectrum disorder) Specialist Speech and Language Therapist in an Autism diagnostic service.

My day starts the same as many working professionals, I log on early and check my emails and my ‘To do’ list. Depending on the day I might have a multidisciplinary team meeting (MDT). These meetings are particularly useful as within them we structure new business, day-to-day assignments and bring together cases for MDT discussion. Since COVID-19 these meetings can now be held virtually or partially virtually, something that we did not use before but is extremely useful in a team
that spans a wide distance.

As a communication specialist, most of my day is focused around completing Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2) and meeting with individuals for assessment.

The ADOS-2 is an activity-based assessment administered by trained clinicians to evaluate communication skills, social interaction, and imaginative use of materials in individuals who are suspected to have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The assessment time varies but is typically around 1-2 hours and usually its length is tailored, where possible, to the answers of the individual. The ADOS-2 is typically administered with only the individual and clinician in the room (however, we sometimes have two clinical team members present).

After the assessment is finished the individual will leave the base and the ADOS-2 is then scored. This information is then written up in the report while it is still prevalent in the mind. The clinical team will gather and discuss the appointments and information gained. In some cases, a separate follow-up appointment may be scheduled to go over additional questions.

The ADOS-2 is just one part of a comprehensive evaluation. Other components include an interview with the individual’s parent or a significant other who has known them since childhood; sometimes partners are involved. Although the ADOS-2 is considered the “gold standard” for ASD assessment, it is important to know that it is just one source of information and is not on its own sufficient for making a diagnosis of ASD. The ADOS-2 should always be part of a comprehensive evaluation that considers a person’s developmental history, the information provided by parents and other key informants, behavioural observations both during and outside of the ADOS-2 administration, and the judgement of experienced clinicians.

If I am not doing an ADOS-2 it is likely that I am doing additional questions with a client or getting a diagnostic history from a family member. In our team we use the Autism Diagnostic InterviewRevised (ADI-R), this can be done with family members on the day of the assessment, perhaps if they are carpooling to the base or beforehand by telephone. I prefer telephone assessments as they seem to work well with parents.

This is a short snapshot into what is a very complex and person-centred experience. We aim for the appointments to be a therapeutic process as it is often the first time someone has had the opportunity to tell their whole story and to reframe their life experiences in a way that makes sense. All the members of our team take our roles very seriously and try to provide a positive experience with awareness, that whatever the outcome is, that it is often very meaningful for the individual and can have a large impact upon their emotional wellbeing and self-understanding.

NHS Staff Survey 2021

The results are in...

Last year we invited all our staff to complete the National NHS Staff Survey 2021 to provide feedback on NCH&C. It is one of the best ways for our staff to share their views about their job, the organisation and the NHS. Thank you to the 1,407 people who took part in the survey, representing 61% of the organisation – our highest ever response rate!

The survey results were released today, Thursday Wednesday 30 March, and show:

  • The trust is scoring above average by 0.1 for the following People Promise elements:
    1. We are compassionate and inclusive
    2. We are recognised and rewarded
  • The trust is scoring average in the following five People Promise elements:
    1. We each have a voice that counts
    2. We are safe and healthy
    3. We are always learning
    4. We work flexibly
    5. We are a team
  • The trust is above average for staff reporting that the organisation takes positive action on health and wellbeing. There has been a reduction in people experiencing MSK problems as a result of work.
  • More staff feel there are opportunities for flexible working.
  • More staff feel that they can be involved in changes that affect their area of work.
  • The results show that staff feel improvements could be made in people being understanding and kind to each other and treating each other with respect.
  • The feedback highlights the critical role line managers and leaders play in staff feeling safe, healthy, recognised and rewarded.

NCH&C’s CEO, Stephen Collman, said:

“I’d like to thank everyone who took the time, in an already busy period, to complete the NHS Staff Survey. Only by gaining your feedback can we implement improvements to your working experience.

“We are pleased that 8 out of 10 people have told us that the care of patients is our organisation’s top priority, and 9 out of 10 people feel their role makes a difference to patients.  Our people are vital to providing high quality patient services, and so NCH&C will be focusing on creating a positive and fulfilling work experience to retain our highly skilled and valuable people, whilst attracting new people to join us.  Prioritising the health and wellbeing of our staff and ensuring NCH&C is a place where people feel able to be themselves and work alongside colleagues in a compassionate and inclusive environment is our ambition.

“We will be addressing all areas of concern to ensure that our staff and patients have the right level of support in place.”

Full survey results can be found here:

Taking time to reflect

National Day of Reflection

CEO, Stephen Collman, encouraged colleagues to observe the second anniversary of the first COVID-19 national lockdown today in any way that they feel allows the opportunity to pause, reflect on what you and your loved ones have been through, and remember the people you may have lost.

“NCH&C’s staff have been on the health and care frontline in our communities throughout the pandemic. You have all made extraordinary sacrifices to support your colleagues, protect your patients, yourselves, and your families. Our teams have also been at the forefront of the vaccination programme in Norfolk, rising to the challenge of delivering thousands of vaccinations at our clinics and on our vaccination bus across the county. We will never forget the role you have all played, and continue to play.”

The video below was created in recognition of how we all pulled together during the most difficult of times. I felt today was a good time to revisit it, as a reminder of how much we have come through for each other over the last two years:

Stehen continued: “While life is seemingly returning to normal in many ways, millions of people are living with the trauma of loss and not being able to grieve properly. Let’s make the legacy of the pandemic one of compassion, love and active support for those who grieve, both now, and in the years to come.”

If you, someone you know, or someone you are treating, are facing loss, bereavement advice and support is available here.

It’s also vital that staff continue to feel supported to look after their health and wellbeing. Full access to our health and wellbeing resources are available on The Loop or on the Health and Wellbeing pages of this site.

NCH&C signs up to UNISON’s Anti-Racism Charter

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

To mark International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, NCH&C is pleased to announce that last week we signed up to UNISON’s Anti-Racism Charter.

UNISON is the biggest NHS trade union and is committed to the principles of equality. The Anti-Racism Charter calls for employers to commit to clear actions to help eliminate racial discrimination and be an anti-racist organisation and includes actions such as:

  • Championing a racially diverse workforce
  • Having a clear programme of anti-racist initiatives
  • Reporting on ethnicity pay gaps
  • Monitoring disciplinary and grievance processes to eliminate unconscious bias.

NCH&C will regularly review its progress towards these actions with UNISON throughout the coming year.

Stephen Collman, Chief Executive said: “We proudly signed Unison’s Anti-Racism Charter as we are fully committed to a culture of inclusion and safe spaces at the trust. At NCH&C we believe that there is strength in diversity and that we are able to better treat patients when we reflect our diverse communities. We are proud to champion anti-racism across our community trust so that not only do we treat our patients with respect and dignity, but our colleagues can work in safety, and progress and develop their skills and expertise to improve the health outcomes for our population.”

Rhado Kerrigan, UNISON Branch Secretary said: “UNISON is delighted that NCH&C has chosen to sign up to the charter. This shows its committed to tackling race discrimination in all of its forms and will lead to fairer and better workplaces for Black workers.”

You can see the UNISON Anti-Racism Charter in full here.

You can find out more information on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination here.

We’re supporting Nutrition Hydration Week

Nutrition Hydration Week is 14-20 March

Nutrition and Hydration Week is aimed at encouraging health and social care professionals to utilise their expertise in raising awareness of the risks of, and promote good practices that can help prevent, malnutrition and dehydration.

Around 3 million people are at risk of malnutrition in the UK. Preventing malnutrition and dehydration improves health and well-being and helps to reduce the burden on the health and social care services in treating and supporting those suffering from under nutrition and dehydration.

Jo Gravells, Specialist Learning Disabilities Dietitian at NCH&C, provides advice on spotting the signs of malnutrition (under-nutrition) in patients:

1 in 10 people are undernourished. In older people this can be because of social isolation and difficulty accessing food and drink.

So how do you spot the signs of malnutrition? Most people who are malnourished will lose weight, but it is possible to be a healthy weight, or even overweight, and still be malnourished.

Symptoms of malnutrition can include:

  • reduced appetite
  • lack of interest in food and drink
  • feeling tired all the time
  • feeling weaker
  • getting ill often and taking a long time to recover
  • wounds taking a long time to heal
  • poor concentration
  • feeling cold most of the time
  • low mood or depression

If you notice these symptoms in someone, try to encourage them to get help from their GP.

Things to look out for people saying would include:

“I’ve lost weight without trying”

“I find it hard to keep warm”

“It’s difficult to get to the shops”

“It’s difficult to cook for just one”

It’s really important to remember that losing weight is not a normal part of ageing and it’s something that shouldn’t be ignored. What advice can you provide to someone if you notice they are at risk of being under nourished?

  • Encourage them to eat little and often
  • For older people at risk of malnutrition with a small appetite it can help to eat little and often ie six small meals a day. Snacks could include: cheese & crackers, rice pudding, full fat creamy yoghurt, mini pork pie or scotch egg, cocktail sausages
  • Fruit is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fibre and water. For older people at risk malnutrition, more calories and protein can be added by including some cream, ice-cream or custard with their fruit
  • You need 6-8 drinks per day to stay well hydrated. That’s around 2000ml. Dehydration can cause infections and falls especially amongst the older population. Sipping fluids throughout the day can help prevent these. It doesn’t have to be water – other drinks count such as diluted squash and fruit juice

Good hydration is critical for maintaining bodily functions, including the heart, brain and muscles. Maintaining healthy fluid levels lowers the risk of contracting a urinary tract infection, which can be dangerous for the elderly. I hope these tips will help colleagues spot the signs of malnutrition and help encourage conversations with those at risk.

Useful resources:

Listen to our NCH&C podcast about diet and nutrition: Sejal Jacob, Specialist Dietitian talks tips on getting your five a day and also dispells some common food myths.

Eat Well Age Well – ‘Food First’ video:

Find out more about working in our Community Dietetics Team here.

Ten reasons to choose NCH&C this National Careers Week!

Celebrating National Careers Week

7-12 March 2022

Happy National Careers Week! This weeklong event is a chance to support everyone who’s getting ready to take the first steps in their career, and to celebrate the world of exciting opportunities that are waiting for you.

Whether you have your next move all planned out, or you’re still open to suggestions, we’d like to share some of the great reasons to consider a career at NCH&C.

Community health and care is an essential part of the NHS, providing care and treatment to patients in their own homes, and their local environments (such as schools, GP surgeries, and care homes).

If your dream job is to be a type of clinician, you probably already know you’ll be working for the NHS – but have you considered community healthcare? And did you know that we employ hundreds of corporate staff, too, across departments like IT, Admin, Marketing, and Finance?

Keep reading for 10 reasons to choose NCH&C…

  1. Community healthcare is incredibly rewarding. Since patients are inviting you into their homes to provide treatment, you build close relationships with them and their families. You’ll often be working with the same people on a long-term basis, so you really become a part of their health story.
  2. You’ll gain skills to progress your career anywhere. The NHS contains the same department you’d expect to find in any other business or organisation: HR, Digital Services, Communications, and more. Starting your career in the NHS can set you up for a career anywhere.
  3. We offer jobs that fit around your life – not the other way round. Flexible working is common at NCH&C, including arrangements like condensed hours, job shares, remote working, and more.
  4. Great training and progression opportunities. All our staff are supported through the training they need to do their job, and to take it to the next level. You can even do an apprenticeship or a degree while working for us.
  5. Staff wellbeing is a priority. We help staff look after their health and wellbeing by providing on-site gyms, physiotherapy service, counselling, and paid time off for volunteering.
  6. We celebrate hard work and success. A good job never goes unnoticed at NCH&C. You could receive a Thank You card from your team, a Badge of Recognition from our Staff Engagement Committee, or even a prestigious REACH Award!
  7. Your voice matters. At NCH&C, we value feedback and opinions from all areas and all levels. Our senior leadership team are incredibly friendly and open – they love to hear opinions from staff about how they can make NCH&C a better place to work, and a better care provider.
  8. You’ll be working with (and learning from) the best. As well as the chance to show some initiative, you’ll also be working as part of close-knit teams with some amazing people.
  9. Competitive salary and perks. As well as offers like salary sacrifice schemes for cars and bikes, you’ll also receive a generous NHS pension, and will qualify for loads of NHS discounts at lots of major shops and venues.
  10. Make a difference every day. Whether you’re clinical or corporate, you’ll be part of an organisation that provides free, universal healthcare to people in their own homes and local communities. What could feel better than that?

For more information about working at NCH&C, have a look around our careers site, and check out our vacancies and apprenticeships. Any questions? Email our Talent for Care team on