Highcroft is a large, multi-branch first opinion and referral practice which demonstrates that excellent communication is possible regardless of the size of the practice and that good communication is good for staff wellbeing as well as being a key contributor to effective team work.
There is a practice meeting for all staff every three months. In addition, there are various committees that regularly meet, such as the Clinical Care Committee, Wellbeing Focus Group and the Events Committee. There are daily rounds at the hospital, and morbidity and mortality rounds monthly – all clinical staff are invited to attend these. Every member of staff has a line manager, with whom they have monthly 1 to 1s. This is somebody that acts as their mentor, helps with their training and development and supports and aids them to resolve any issues they may have, personal or work related.
Many of the team members regularly spend time together outside of work and there is a busy social calendar co-ordinated by an Events Committee, including a Christmas party, Summer BBQ/Booze Cruise, dog walks. In the past few years Highcroft teams have taken part in ‘The Coniston Challenge’, Petsavers ‘It’s a Knockout Challenge’, and many, many 10K’s and half marathons. In September 2016 they held a ‘Tour De Highcroft’ – a cycle team composed of a regional director, vets, ambulance drivers and other support staff, who cycled 80 miles around all the Highcroft branches raising money for Hounds for Heroes. People are encouraged to look after themselves and be aware of stress in the workplace. Line managers have attended stress awareness training to look out for early signs that their team members may be struggling and the practice have created a ‘Stress and Mental Health Flow Diagram’ to help people work through their options when they feel they are not coping.