Sheena's Blog: connecting with staff

by Sheena Cumiskey - 27 April 2017

For some years now we have adopted the NHS 6Cs as our Trust values. And you may have read my recent blog about the launch of our person centred framework – which aims to instil a shared understanding about how we can best connect with people as unique individuals with their own strengths, abilities, needs and goals.

At CWP, putting these values into practice is an area we collectively excel. Indeed, we were incredibly proud to be rated Outstanding for Care in our most recent CQC inspection. As care providers, making meaningful connections with the people we encounter is simply an instinctive part of our day to day work.

The commitment I see from all our staff to provide highest quality care is, for me, a constant source of inspiration. Sometimes, however, it can be easy to forget that behind every brave, passionate and selfless member of staff is a human being with their own goals, questions and concerns.

Recently, we were ranked at the top of a league table for all mental health, learning disability and community Trusts based on feedback from staff who took part in the 2016 NHS Staff Survey. This is, of course, absolutely fantastic. But at a time when it feels like uncertainty around the future of the NHS is never out of the headlines, it is particularly important that our staff know that their contribution is valued and understood.

Last week, I hosted my first locality “Breakfast with Sheena” session, where I joined staff at our Sunny Café at Soss Moss for an informal chat about things such as their work experiences, recent achievements, what works well and where they think improvements could be made. It was wonderful to discuss topics important to staff and share ideas about the future in such an open and welcoming environment.

Our next breakfast session takes place next month at the Stein Centre in Birkenhead on 22 May, and I’d encourage all staff, regardless of team or role, to come and join us.  

Inspired by our Big Conversation, I’ve also been out and about over the last few weeks working alongside staff on the front line. Most recently, I’ve been shadowing and talking with teams at Ancora House, Adelphi Ward and the West Home Treatment Team, working with multi-disciplinary staff as they deliver care. I’ve been hugely impressed by the teamwork and compassion of every team I’ve joined so far, and on a personal level ,making these connections  with so many staff has been nothing short of empowering.

In the coming months I will be looking for more wonderful services to come shadow. If this is something that you think would benefit your team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Best wishes,



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