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What the client wanted

Salford Royal Foundation Trust (SRFT) is acknowledged as one of the country’s leading hospital trusts, consistently ranking in the top handful of trusts in terms of quality of service and patient care. The trust’s mission is to be the safest organisation in the NHS through providing safe, clean and personal care to every patient, every time and were the first trust in the North of England to achieve the Care Quality Commission’s highest rating.

As part of the trust’s drive for continuous improvement achieved through committed, motivated and engaged staff, in February 2014 SRFT commissioned Impromptu to support them in the implementation and embedding of their new Contribution Framework. The Contribution Framework is the trust’s new and novel performance management system. It has been designed to maximise staff engagement, through embedding a coaching culture and reinforce the trust’s values, all with the focus of achieving the best possible patient outcomes.

What we did

Impromptu’s engagement has been an integrated, 12 month programme with the following principal strands:

Design and delivery of experiential one-day training workshops (with role play as a core feature) for over one thousand clinical and non-clinical managers (“reviewers”) from across the trust, including senior trust executives;

  • Design and delivery of a series of interactive, two-hour workshops for over two and a half thousand staff (“reviewees”), in cohorts of 50, again from across clinical and non-clinical roles;
  • Co-creation (in collaboration with a team from the trust) of an on-line learning resource to support the above workshops post-delivery. The on-line resource is built around bespoke film materials produced by Impromptu in partnership with Floating Harbour Films;
  • Provision of support and coaching for SRFT colleagues from HR and Learning & Development, to create self-sufficiency following Impromptu’s withdrawal;
  • A substantial evaluation and impact analysis project which is planned to result in the publication of at least two academic papers, reporting a statistically significant shift in mindset and engagement with performance management.

The intention behind this holistic programme has been to make a real difference in terms of further improvement, from an already good starting point, of manager and staff attitude, behaviour, confidence and commitment. In order to achieve this Impromptu’s dedicated design and delivery team became immersed in the trust’s culture and endeavoured to live and role model the values and performance management principles we were helping to promote. The interactive and experiential approaches we took, with role play methods at the forefront, were designed to ensure our interventions were real, relevant and produced tangible change.

The outcomes

All available evidence points to an outcome that this integrated programme has delivered on its aims. A recent survey indicates that satisfaction with the trust’s performance management system has shifted from around 45% (the previous system) to over 80% (the Contribution Framework).

Commentary from a one-year later, follow-up impact analysis suggests that approximately 90% of respondents have identified a tangible benefit either in terms of actual change, increased confidence or improved skill.

It is apparent that not only are people engaging with the new system but, importantly, they are having quality conversations that are underscoring commitment to the trust’s values and, without question, helping to achieve the best possible service to patients in the trust’s care.

Client Response

“I have been delighted with Impromptu’s work to help us embed our contribution framework. They have acted as true partners - flexible, experts in their field who were able to guide us not just through the ideal content of the development programme but also on the fundamental design of the actual framework itself. The feedback from delegates on the quality of the development has been outstanding and the Impromptu team have shown their ability to deliver to front line staff through to Board room.”

Paul Renshaw, Director of Organisational Development and Corporate Affairs


“Working with the team at Impromptu has been a delight, they have really understood what we are about and what we are trying to achieve here. Their dedication to delivering high quality service delivery is 100%. They role model consultancy skills and follow through on what they say they will deliver and always ensure that their customer is getting full value. I have been very impressed by their service delivery model including the level of support they have provided to ourselves and would without hesitation recommend them to other colleagues and organisations.”

Carole Swindells, Head of Leadership Development