The HR Directorate has released the first
tranche of new and revised policies taking effect in December

The HR Directorate is pleased to release the
first tranche of new and revised policies to take effect from
December 2016. 

We would like to thank Staffside and
management for the tremendous care and effort they have invested in
helping us to revise the existing documents and to create new
policies.  We hope they will provide clarity and guidance, and
underpin good, collaborative employee relations.

There will be opportunities to attend sessions
to familiarise yourself with the policies but in the meantime, any
queries should be directed to your line manager, HR or union
representative in the first instance, or to Barbara Macanas (Senior
HR & Policy Manager) or Karen Lavender (Employee Relations
& Policy Manager).

These policies and procedures are available to
download here




It is important with all the
new technology at our finger tips, to have clear, reasonable
guidelines for employees on acceptable and appropriate use of
social networking and social media platforms. 

The policy sets out the
Trust’s and employees’ responsibilities and duties to patients,
colleagues, third parties and the general public, and how to avoid
disclosing confidential or private information.  It explains
the actions the Trust will take where behaviour falls below
expected standards and how to raise concerns about misuse of social

Please note:
we are calling an amnesty on this policy until 1 February 2017.
 Please ensure you understand the requirements, remove
any material from social media which may breach the policy and
adhere to the policy in the meantime and going

Inappropriate and
unacceptable comments, behaviours, content and images are
defined.  Breach of confidentiality, privacy and information
security are explained and examples are given of social media
disclosures that may compromise a person’s right to



These guidelines provide a framework within
which investigating managers can plan and carry out an impartial
investigation, gathering and analysing all evidence and providing a
balanced and objective report of the findings.

They explain the role of the commissioning
manager, the investigating manager and the importance of an
investigation plan.  They provide key points for the
investigating manager, guidance on preparing and conducting
investigation interviews and how to accommodate reluctant
witnesses, and a template for the investigation report.


The policy sets out how the Trust will manage
any allegations against employees relating to the abuse of children
and adults at risk.  It seeks to prevent and address abuse by
those who work with both children and adults at risk, and gives
direction to enable the Trust to deliver an appropriate
response.  The multi-agency approach is explained, where the
responsibility for investigation rests, and the responsibilities of
the Trust’s officers and employees.

The procedure defines allegations of
this nature and how they may arise, immediate action that must be
taken, and what support can be given to the employee concerned and
other Trust employees affected by the situation.  Risk
assessments and investigations are explained, consideration of
suspension from duty, the purpose and context of strategy meetings,
and final case reviews.


The following policies have been restructured
for clarity and ease of use.  Responsibilities have been
expanded and explained.  Information has been added on
equality and reasonable adjustments, mediation, welfare and
support, confidentiality and data protection.  Legal advice
has been taken to ensure they are in line with current employment



The policy and procedure sets out the
framework within which concerns about the conduct or behaviour of
individuals will be addressed and resolved in a fair and consistent
way, and in accordance with the principles of the ACAS Code of
Practice and guidance.

Key changes to note:

Informal reprimand may be recorded and kept

Levels and warnings explained, and revised
competency levels for issuing warnings.

Repeated failure to attend hearings reduced
from 2 to 1 occasion, but working patterns are taken into

Number of panel members reduced by

Role of companion explained. 

Grievance during disciplinary



The policy and procedure sets out the
framework within which any concerns, problems or complaints raised
by employees will be addressed and resolved in a fair, consistent
and timely manner as near as possible to the point of origin. 
The process is simplified and now has a specific appeal stage.

Legal advice has been incorporated with regard
to who and what the policy/procedure covers, or does not,
monitoring requirements, confidentiality and requirements under the
Data Protection Act and the importance of recognising a grievance
(whether verbal or written).

To ensure compliance with the ACAS Code and

·      The recommended three-step approach
to prompt resolution has been incorporated, i.e. to hold a meeting
with the employee and if necessary, investigate; make a decision on
the appropriate action; allow an appeal against the decision. 
This replaces the previous 1 informal and 3 formal stages which
involved prolonged escalation. 

·      Formal grievances should be set out
in writing, including any relevant evidence that will help to
resolve the matter, and what action or desired outcome is
sought.  The notification form is not now mandatory as it may
discourage employees from bringing a formal grievance but is given
as an appendix for use by employees and managers if they

·      Mediation is included and where it
may or may not be suitable.

·      The role of the companion is now
clarified, and who can accompany.

·      At Appendix A, there is a procedure
for conducting a formal grievance meeting, to supplement how to
conduct a grievance appeal hearing.



The policy and procedure sets out the options,
principles and actions through which bullying and harassment can be
eliminated and prevented within the Trust, and the support
available to employees.  It helps the Trust to promote a
zero-tolerance approach to bullying and harassment behaviours and
to encourage employees to speak out, and to hold each other to
account wherever there is behaviour which falls short of our

There is an updated explanation and definition
of bullying, harassment, victimisation and whistleblowing, and to
raise awareness an appendix has been added setting out examples of
bullying and harassment behaviours. 



The policy and procedure sets out a fair and
effective framework to ensure consistent and fair treatment for all
employees who experience difficulties in performing their duties to
the required standards.

To ensure a smoother and more timely
resolution of issues:

·      informal stages are reduced from 2
to 1 and formal stages from 4 to 3

·      number of formal warnings is
reduced from 4 to 3 with the maximum warning of 12 months rather
than 24 months

·      number of panel members reduced at
Stage 3 Meetings/Appeal Hearings from 3 to 2

Explanation is provided about what happens at
various stages and how warnings relate to review periods.

Legal advice is incorporated
with regard to the right to be accompanied, the role of companion
and who can accompany, and when warnings may not be



This policy covers concerns where the
interests of others or of the Trust itself are at risk, the primary
focus being about clinical matters, the care of patients and the
general way patients are treated by Trust staff.  It may also
be used to raise concerns about non-clinical matters e.g. financial
irregularities or failure to comply with health and safety

The policy has been amended as a result of
audit.  The duty of candour is explained, how individuals who
raise concerns are protected and the type of disclosures that
qualify for protection under legislation.  The policy sets out
how to raise concerns and where to find independent advice
including internal and external contacts, and how responses are
made to issues raised

, enior HR & Policy