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Our Nursing Strategy 2023-26

Our Nursing Strategy 2023-26

Profile of Debbie Fulton, Director of Nursing and Therapies

Foreword by Debbie Fulton, Director of Nursing and Therapies

As nurses, we are in a truly privileged position to be able to offer support and care to patients and their families, often when they are at their most vulnerable and in greatest need.

I am very proud to recognise and truly value the significant contribution you all make every day. This strategy builds on these strong foundations and commitments. It sets out our ambitions and goals to support continued growth, development, and innovation for excellent nursing care, alongside what all our registered nurses, registered nurse associates, nursery nurses and healthcare assistants can expect from us to ensure they are fully equipped to undertake their roles.

This strategy includes professional and career development, and the wellbeing and support that you have identified to build resilience, confidence, and commitment. It enables us to deliver the standards of care we aspire to provide to all our patients and families across all our care settings with the compassion and kindness we would expect for our loved ones.

Who we are

Berkshire Healthcare is a Community and Mental Health Trust offering a wide range of roles across a diverse range of settings. We specialise in mental health nursing (adults and children), learning disability nursing, community health nursing, community children’s nursing, health visiting, and school nursing, offering support from birth to end of life care, across the breadth of Berkshire.

Our mission and vision

Our mission is to maximise independence and quality of life.

Our mission is to support people to live as independent and full a life as possible for their individual circumstances.

Whether providing beginning, middle, or end of life healthcare, our purpose is to support the best possible quality of life for our patients.

Our vision is to be a great place to get care; a great place to give care.

Our Trust-wide objectives

  • Continue to improve access, quality, and experience of care for our patients
  • Work with partners to improve the health outcomes of our populations
  • Make Berkshire Healthcare a great place to work

Image of a Nurse providing mental health care to a patient

Image of a Nurse using a digital screen

Background to our Strategy

During the past three years, the nursing profession has been at the forefront of the nation. Our nurses continue to maintain their professionalism, commitment, and compassion during difficult economic times. We recognise the expertise within our nursing workforce and have confidence that this will carry us forward over the next five years. We are undertaking focused work around recruitment, retention, and growing our own workforce.

Our nurses need to be empowered to develop in their fields of nursing and be competent to continue to deliver the highest standard of nursing care to our patients.

The Berkshire Healthcare Nursing Strategy has been developed in conjunction with many of our Trust nurses and is for our registered nurses, registered nurse associates, nursery nurses, and healthcare assistants.

The aim is to share what is important to our nursing workforce, for all our nurses  to feel valued, for every nurse’s voice to be heard, and for every nurse’s contribution to be recognised. We aspire to have a comprehensive Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion strategy which runs through our Trust nursing ethos.

Everything we do supports our True North goals of:

  • Harm free care
  • Supporting our staff
  • Good patient experience
  • Efficient use of resources

What does it mean to be a nurse in Berkshire Healthcare?

  • Experiencing fair treatment and feeling a sense of pride and belonging to a supportive team and organisation with a Just Culture
  • Being committed to delivering the highest standard of safe, kind, compassionate person-centred care to our patients
  • Fostering a culture where all staff feel their voice is heard, where they are respected and valued, and feel safe to speak up in a way that enables their unique contributions to be recognised
  • Ensuring patients are at the centre of and included in every intervention
  • Listening actively to patients and those close to them and using this feedback to continually improve learning and safety
  • Being passionate about health and wellbeing of patients, their families and our colleagues
  • Ensuring that inequalities in access, care and treatment are at the forefront of planning
  • Safeguarding all patients against harm, promoting a culture of learning, responsiveness and clinical excellence across all levels of the organisation, respecting each individual’s sphere of experience and understanding their contribution to the larger picture, and supporting everyone to reach their full potential

Image of a Nurse caring for a Learning Disabilities service patient

Our strategy in action

This strategy was developed by Berkshire Healthcare Nursing staff representatives from across Berkshire Healthcare.

The ambitions within our nursing strategy interlay with other Berkshire Healthcare strategies, including our Trust Strategy, The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, and the Allied Health Professional Strategy. We will ensure that our nurses are appropriately involved in workstreams developed from these strategies to support delivery of our nursing strategy.

*Measured through year-on-year national staff survey results.

Our Mission and Values



Our Mission and Vision

 View a larger version of our Mission and Vision Pyramid (pdf)

High professional standards

To support our ambition of maintaining high professional standards, we will: How we will demonstrate achieving our ambition:
  • Deliver the highest level of care to patients to maximise independence and give the best quality of life
  • Enhance our Just Culture model, continuing to enrich a culture of learning following incidents and patient feedback, while further developing our patient safety strategy
  • Learn from positive and proactive interventions, focus on the good practice in additions to incidents
  • Follow a staffing and safe staffing model, incorporating new national safe staffing models and caseload management
  • Work co-productively with our stakeholders, patients and carers
  • Support all our nurses to use quality improvement methodology routinely in everyday practices to support improvement
  • Help our nurses contribute to research, policy and guidance at both local and national level so they will feel empowered to lead, use, deliver and participate in research as part of their job
  • Give our Professional Nurse Advocates protected time to undertake the role, promote it within our organisation and facilitate Restorative Supervision models within teams and with individuals
  • Support staff to engage with national forums and networking opportunities, including academic institutions and science networks, promoting wider learning from other organisations and promoting the work of Berkshire Healthcare in the national arena
  • Challenge practice that is not aligned with our values and behaviours
  • Encourage and share patient feedback
  • All our nurses will be able to respond positively when asked about receiving the respect they deserve from colleagues, being kind and understanding of each other.*
  • All our nurses will have the opportunity to understand and be involved in quality improvement and feel empowered to make suggestions for improvement.*
  • We will increase the number of nursing staff with Yellow and Green Belt training
  • We will see an increase in incidents reported
  • All our staff will work within the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) and make changes to practices following learning from incidents
  • We will continue to improve how we hear the voice of the patient through increased collation of feedback and using this for improvement
  • We will see fewer nursing staff going through formal HR processes and an increase in nursing staff involved in error or near miss incidents feeling they have been treated fairly.*
  • We will see an increase in the number of nursing staff involved in our research programme


Ensuring our staff feel valued

Developing our workforce and ensuring that all our staff feel valued and fulfilled in their roles: How we will demonstrate achieving our ambition:
  • We will continue our work on our workforce strategic initiative around recruitment and retention to ensure positive workforce development
  • We will develop our workforce with great leadership, induction and training opportunities, ensuring equality and diversity in recruitment and internal development opportunities
  • We will proactively welcome new models of recruitment, including apprenticeships, international recruitment, T levels and NHS reservists
  • We will support our nurses with their personal development, ensuring equal opportunities for all nursing staff, including those with protected characteristics, ensuring senior nursing roles are reflective of the wider workforce and local population
  • We will ensure our nurses have a clear pathway for development opportunities, both clinical and managerial
  • We aim to be a centre of excellence for nurse education and offer the highest quality practice placements
  • We will offer all new nurse’s mentorship and preceptorship and participate in the student to registered nurse transition programme
  • We will offer all our nurses the training and development to competently deliver their role and progress
  • We aim to develop the role of the nurse consultant and develop pathways from ANP/ACP to nurse consultant
  • We will ensure all nursing staff receive a high quality annual appraisal which includes patient experience feedback
  • We aim to improve retention in our nursing workforce and reduce turnover to below 16%
  • We will increase our number of nurses who complete the nurse apprenticeship and our international workforce
  • We will have a developmental career pathway in place for all nursing bands
  • All nursing staff will have a meaningful annual appraisal with clear objectives that assist them to do their roles and help them feel valued in their work and Personal Development Plan*
  • All nursing staff will feel that the organisation acts fairly in relation to career progression*
  • Senior nurses will offer reverse mentorship to our nursing workforce
  • We will increase the number of nurse consultants


Staff wellbeing

Ensuring the wellbeing of our staff: How we will demonstrate achieving our ambition:
  • We will have a culture of civility and kindness
  • We will offer all our nursing staff high quality clinical, managerial and restorative supervision
  • We will provide all our nursing staff with access to Professional Nurse Advocacy
  • We will make available wellbeing services for all, including wellbeing coaching and mental health support, support hubs for teams, onward referrals to services for financial support, staff support post incident
  • We aim to offer flexible working opportunities to meet the needs of services while meeting a work life balance
  • We will ensure a Just Culture approach, looking at the wider organisational issues, not just the individuals directly involved
  • Our nursing staff will have meaningful conversations around their development and revalidation
  • We will promote the Freedom to Speak up Guardian, ensuring a confidence to speak up culture where all our staff feel heard and receive feedback on any actions
  • All our staff will be offered the Kindness training programme
  • Nurse leaders/managers will participate in leadership programmes that support our trust culture and values.*
  • Reported work related staff sickness will reduce by 50%
  • All our nursing staff will attend 6-8 weekly clinical supervision
  • We will develop a tool which captures clinical supervision, professional supervision and managerial supervision by 2024
  • Professional Nurse Advocacy will be available to 100% of our nurses in the form of restorative supervision, staff support post incident and space groups
  • All nursing staff will feel safe to speak up about anything that concerns them in the organisation and will feel confident that the organisation would address any concerns raised*


Using technology to support our staff

Ensuring our staff are supported/enabled to use technology for maximum impact: How we will demonstrate achieving our ambition:
  • We will ensure that nursing staff are engaged in the trust development and implementation of technological solutions/digital transformation
  • We will offer digitally enabled care to enhance communication
  • We aim to use technology to support the nurse’s role in joining up care, supporting Connected Care
  • We plan to reduce the need for duplication in our record keeping
  • We want to release time to offer compassionate care
  • We aim to empower people to actively participate in and contribute to their care
  • All our nursing staff will have time to regularly access electronic communications and updates
  • Where required to undertake their role, nursing staff will have access to relevant electronic systems, including Connected Care
  • All clinical digital programmes will have nurse/clinical representation
  • There will be nurse representation on the Digital Clinical Leadership Group