March 19, 2019

Stephen O'Loughlin



The scope of the engagement

It was announced that NHS Direct would be downsizing, despite all efforts and many iterations, that NHS Direct would close and hand over to a new service, NHS 111. It was a period of immense change, career instability and uncertainty. There were big cultural, morale and motivation challenges as well as the obvious logistical ones. Over 3000 people, mainly health
advisors and clinicians were affected. As a body of professionals they were very committed to their role within the Health Service and proud of the success and growth of the service that was to also be their downfall. It was a body blow that was keenly felt across the entire organisation. Colleagues didn’t know whether they would be staying on, be made redundant, or be ‘tuped’ across to the new organisation, with all the ensuing concerns about a forced change- and they had to continue to provide a professional public service; a life line to people worried about their health and/ or in serious need of urgent medical assistance. The project team had to start from scratch. No-one in the team had any experience of handling a situation like this ever before and they were in full public view of the national press.

Vision and Goals

Listen to Simon Gosney, Former Head of L&D, NHS Direct: “The support we provided had to be very current, practical and action-focused. We needed a high-quality programme, that would help us to reduce potential redundancy costs, and demonstrate a very strong commitment to our colleagues at a time of significant change. We calculate that the ROI exceeded £100,000.”

The programme had the following aims:

• To continue to maintain the highest standards of health assessment to the public with no shortfalls despite and throughout the planned changes
• To protect the public purse by minimising redundancy costs
• To maintain staff engagement and morale across the country during a period when the business was facing closure.
• To retain and transfer highly valued skills within the NHS

To learn more about the interventions we used and the outcomes of this project, click below.

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