The team behind University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust’s Happy App won the Award for Staff Engagement at the prestigious HSJ Awards on 23 November.
Over the past two years, researchers from the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West (NIHR CLAHRC West) have worked together with doctors, nurses and managers at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol), to test and evaluate the Happy App, a web-based tool which collects real-time, work-related mood feedback from staff. The app collects data from nursing, medical, and other staff groups about problems and frustrations, but also positive experiences relating to their shift.
The quality of patient care relies largely on the skills, compassion and enthusiasm of front line staff. Evidence linking staff satisfaction and patient experience shows that high levels of engagement impact positively on both staff and organisations and that NHS organisations deliver better quality care when their staff are engaged and involved in decision-making.
The Happy App has been very popular at UH Bristol. Many different departments now use it. By October 2016 the app was being used in 42 areas, where an average of 11 entries are made each day by staff. The evaluation work by CLAHRC West has shown that there have been real improvements in local engagement between managers and their teams, and that it has stimulated tangible improvements in service delivery.
Judges were “bowled over” by the tool, which they said “demonstrably shifted behaviour and culture in clinical teams”.
Another app from Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) was highly commended at the awards. AWP have been working with Otsuka Health Solutions on the Join the Dots app was highly commended in the Innovation in Mental Health category. CLAHRC West are also working with AWP and Otsuka on evaluating this app.
Alastair McLellan, Editor, HSJ, said:
“In this year of unremitting toil and increasing pressure, the entries to the HSJ Awards have once again touched record levels. Becoming an HSJ Awards finalist has never been tougher or more worthy of celebration.
“The excellence represented this evening demonstrates the NHS remains both brave and bold in meeting the challenges that rising demand presents for all modern healthcare systems. It also underlines the ambition found in ever sector and region of the NHS to improve patient outcomes, experience and safety.”