‘We’re the nationwide digital organisation for the NHS in Wales,’ says Helen Thomas. ‘We additionally help the care sector – via partnership working – to hitch up care throughout Wales. We offer digital, know-how and information companies for the NHS. So, we offer the entire spectrum of digital disciplines and help digital transformation throughout the Welsh well being sector.’
Helen was appointed CEO of Digital Well being and Care Wales (DHCW) in 2021, having spent the earlier 12 months because the Interim Director of the NHS Wales Informatics Service. There, amongst different issues, she headed up the organisation’s spectacular response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Our imaginative and prescient?’ she asks. ‘We need to be world-leading. We need to assist enhance and remodel lives. Our long-term plan is, principally, a more healthy Wales. We would like folks to dwell lengthy, wholesome and joyful lives.’
In opposition to the backdrop of the pandemic, an ageing inhabitants and the pressures on the NHS itself, serving to folks dwell happier and more healthy lives is clearly an enormous mission. However, if Helen’s method to helping Wales’ folks may very well be summed up merely, it’s this: assembly these grand-scale challenges begins along with your organisation’s folks.
Placing folks first
Put merely, her philosophy is that if you wish to meet the largest challenges, you want to recruit and retain the very best folks – and you may solely do this by giving these good folks the very best care.
‘Organisations are about folks,’ she explains. ‘Folks that really feel empowered and engaged and related to the organisation ship nice outcomes. My focus, since I joined the organisation and put my management workforce in place, has at all times been about empowering folks.’
This rigorously people-first method has led Digital Well being and Care Wales to win the IT Business Awards’ Greatest Place to Work in IT trophy for the second time in 3 years.
‘Clearly, I’m immensely proud. Nevertheless it means a lot greater than that. It’s an award for all of the individuals who work within the organisation,’ she says.
Helen is, nevertheless, fast to level out that successful awards, although very welcome, isn’t a aim in itself. Her organisation didn’t make taking prizes an goal in a 3 or five-year plan. Relatively, successful, she says, is a by-product of an agreed and deployed technique. However right here’s the curious factor: successful awards does assist the organisation to fulfil its technique and meet its mission.
‘It’s a hell of a strapline, isn’t it?’ Helen says. ‘The perfect place to work, for 2 years. It helps a lot in recruiting. And the massive bit for me is we’ve been increasing as an organisation. We’ve grown by 38% over the previous few years. And we’re a model new organisation… So, with the ability to truly describe and talk ourselves as award-winning is improbable.’
A piece in progress
Specializing in the IT business and IT expertise, she says: ‘We’re in a extremely aggressive marketplace for recruiting new expertise. We want expertise as we’re a rising organisation… Wage will at all times be up within the prime three issues that appeal to or persuade folks to remain. Nevertheless it’s not the one one. It’s that connectedness to the place you’re employed, who you’re employed with, that sense of household and workforce… that sense of worth. That’s additionally vital. After I took over, I wished to – and I nonetheless need to – lead an organisation that I’m pleased with… One I’m proud to steer and proud to be part of. And I would like all our workers to really feel that method.’
Increasing, she says: ‘A giant a part of that must be the compassionate management all of us deserve. Sure – it’s having a number of insurance policies and procedures. However actually, it’s about having a spotlight. And I wished to give attention to our folks… to give attention to who we’re as an organisation, as an employer and as a accomplice. And one of many massive issues I’ve finished is put a Director of Folks and Organisational Growth on our board. We’ve received the folks’s voice on the board. We’ve additionally received a staff-side consultant on our board.’
Digital Well being and Care Wales continues to be a piece in progress, she explains – although a lot work has been finished, there’s extra to do. A essential step in that journey was the current publication of the organisation’s Folks and Organisational Growth Technique. It talks about rising the organisation, creating folks, rising a expertise pipeline and succession planning. Equality and variety additionally play a giant half within the technique.