LCH: Job Sharing/Retire and Return

We Can Flex

Flexible Working success at Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Background

Background

The 0-19 Public Health Integrated Nursing Service works with the children, young people, and families of Leeds to improve social, emotional, and health outcomes. This team is one of seven within the service and comprises of 46 multi-disciplinary practitioners supported by a Clinical Team Manager, Single Point of Access and the Clinical Triage Team.
Situation

Situation

Pat Corson and Angela Wilson, Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (SCPHNs) have over 85 years of invaluable experience between them. Both were reaching retirement age and had asked to retire and return as a job share team working 18.75 hours each.
Myths Challenges

Myths/Challenges

Their manager confirmed job shares had previously been unsuccessful in the service and that there was some worry that if this request was granted, then all future flexible working requests would have to be approved. There were also concerns about how a job share could affect service delivery, impact on operations and potentially create negativity within the team where other flexible working requests had not been approved.

Solution

Solution

Their manager asked Pat and Angela to propose a plan for how flexible working could be put in place successfully for them – looking at how they would communicate between each other, manage their working patterns, and continue to meet the needs of services users. Pat and Angela suggested a working pattern to cover the full week, including the opportunity for a face-to-face handover and a plan for how they would share allocation of work and support time sensitive appointments. A formal flexible working request was then submitted, discussed and agreed with the senior leadership team.

Impact

Both Pat and Angela said that they would have retired if their flexible working request wasn’t available to them. They were grateful to their management team for being open to their ideas. Now they can enjoy reduced hours whilst continuing to care for people and support new members of the team, using their wealth of knowledge and experience.

Pat Corson, SCPHN said:
“Our job share is allowing us to enjoy a better work / life balance and has made sure we continue to offer our experience to the Trust. It’s a privilege to work with families who share their lives with us. I’ve had the opportunity to work with different generations of a family, and I now get to continue this, which is extremely rewarding”.

Angela Wilson, SCPHN said:
“This has been the best decision I’ve made for a healthy work- life balance. I’d like to thank our management for supporting us, and Pat for making our job share such a success. The chance to share a caseload with someone you know well, and trust has made this an easy change and allowed us both to keep our experience within the team”.

Lessons learned

“The answer to flexible working doesn’t have to be a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’. In each situation there can be an open discussion and an exploration to find the best solution for all. Line managers should have regular conversations with colleagues about working flexibly and remember that people do not need to give a reason for their request. Decisions should not be based on previous experience and each request considered individually. We learnt that the fear of being told ‘no’ meant colleagues felt that they had no other option but to leave. However, by having an open conversation and a flexible approach, we were able to remove barriers and find workable solutions.”
Stacey Slokan, Clinical Team Manager.

Stacey talks about jobs sharing/ retiring and returning to work in the video below. 

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