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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Making Every Day Better Together Group

We spend a significant proportion of our lives at work. Developing good working relationships and feeling valued is therefore important to us all.

Partnership Working in Maternity Services in collaboration with COHWB

We all should have the opportunity and power to make positive changes to our working lives.

Making Every Day Better Together is a multidisciplinary partnership group with a focus on improving the working lives of nursing and midwifery staff in Women's Services at Oxford University Hospitals.

Our approach is to focus on issues that make our staff feel good about themselves, rather than concentrating on problems. We want our workforce to enjoy coming to work and to feel part of the team: there is much evidence to show that this not only improves their lives, but that it has a positive impact on safety and improves outcomes for women and babies in their care.

We have conducted surveys of staff in Women's Services on issues from health and wellbeing to bullying and harassment, and staff feedback has led to initiatives such as a healthy eating club, a 'pedometer challenge', a staff celebration event and participation in the 'STOPPIT' course.

The group is chaired by Ruth Houlden (Consultant Obstetrician) and Laura Jones, and includes representatives from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), OUH Human Resources and the OUH Health and Wellbeing Promotion Specialist for staff.

We aim to:

  • improve the physical and psychological wellbeing of our staff
  • create a positive working environment
  • ensure every member of staff feels like a valued member of the team
  • listen to our staff and make changes based on their feedback
  • nurture good working relationships
  • foster best practice, and show how this improves morale.

Our team

Ruth Houlden

Obstetric Consultant Lead for the MEDBT

Ruth initially joined the group as a Senior Registrar and has subsequently become the Consultant Lead for the MEDBT group.

She was acutely aware of the drop-out rate associated with Obstetrics and Gynaecology training, and felt a responsibility to do something to counteract this. She reflected on what was driving her day-to-day, and realised that the biggest factor was her colleagues, and the camaraderie of working as part of the Women's Centre team.

She believes maintaining team morale, and being receptive and inclusive, are the only real ways to bring about effective change. There is a great wealth of knowledge and experience within the department which can only be maintained by enthusiastic and fulfilled staff moving up through the ranks.

Ruth Houlden

Laura Jones

Maternity Assessment Unit Manager
Laura Jones

Anna Hinton

Health and Wellbeing Promotion Specialist

Anna has a passion for wellbeing and the benefit it brings to the health of our staff.

She offers opportunities throughout the year for staff to pause for thought and consider small changes in order to develop healthier habits.

She writes monthly health and wellbeing newsletters for Trust staff and runs sessions on building resilience for everyone working in Women's Services.

Anna Hinton

Stephanie Poultney

Human Resources Consultant, Children's and Women's Division

Stephanie has been involved with the 'Making Every Day Better Together' group since 2015, to provide HR support and to encourage and promote 'staff voice'.

She feels that the work the group does is really important, not only for promoting health and wellbeing, but for inviting staff feedback and supporting our Trust values:

Learning | Respect | Delivery | Excellence | Compassion | Improvement

Stephanie Poultney

Charlie Benson

ST4 Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Charlie is interested in making staff feel valued and improving everyone's sense of achievement and enjoyment at work.
Charlie Benson

Debbie Rowles

Lead Midwife for Maternity Support Workers

Debbie works as part of the Practice Development Team and is keen to ensure the views and thoughts of Maternity Support Workers are listened to and heard.

She believes that finding ways for our staff to be more supportive of each other enhances the quality of care we deliver to women and their families.

Debbie Rowles