WWL have implemented the “Go Engage” model of staff engagement.

Work began in 2011 and since then the framework has been successfully applied across the whole organisation which operates over five sites and has over 4,500 employees.
Throughout the process staff at all levels are encouraged to participate and to take ownership of the engagement activity so that it challenges people and teams to think about how they can work differently.
Working with many different teams, WWL were able to re-define their organisational values, which supported their organisational development strategy.


Since embarking on their engagement journey, WWL has achieved extraordinary things:

  • Sustained improvements in quality and performance
  • Increased levels of productivity and innovation, through sharing of knowledge, skills, best practice and collaborative working
  • Hit Cost Improvement Targets – £32.96m over three years
  • Improved in six patient survey scores
  • Become the top performing Trust in Greater Manchester for A&E in the “Friends and Family Test” (January – June 2014)
  • Become a pilot for seven day working
  • Cleanest Hospital for two years running (PLACE)
  • September 2014-September 2015 – a full year without hospital acquired MRS Bacteraemia
  • Fourth out of 138 Acute Trusts for staff engagement (national survey data 2014)
  • Provider Trust of the year HSJ Awards 2014

“Go Engage the WWL Way, has taken staff engagement from strength to strength in the Trust. Working in partnership with our trade unions, it has helped to create a culture of empowerment and ownership; something which is essential if we are to meet the challenges the NHS is facing.

The diagnostic enables us to really focus on activities that will make a difference; meaning that we no longer do things on instinct, as the data lets us know exactly what we need to do to improve the working lives of our staff. We can see that the toolkit works at organisational but more importantly at team level.

The positive energy the programme creates is tangible and epitomises our view that happy staff results in happy patients”

Alison Balson, Director of Workforce


Ward 5 Team, Wrightington Wigan & Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust

Based at Wrightington Hospital, Ward 5 is a busy orthopaedic ward with over 30 members of staff. Ward 5 embarked on WWL’s Pioneer Team programmedue to issues such as low staff morale, dysfunctional relationships and poor communication between staff, as well as reporting no clear direction or leadership within the team.
Using the results of their engagement survey, the team were able to identify a number of enablers where improvements could be made. These were work relationships, influence, clarity and recognition, which allowed the team to systematically apply the Go Engage toolkit to address these areas specifically.
The tools from the Go Engage Toolkit used by the team were Exposure Techniques to address work relationships and clarity, a Listening Eventto help improve influence and clarity, and a Team Charter to support work relationships.

As a result of the Go Engage Pioneer Programme, Ward 5 achieved an impressive 25% improvement in overall engagement levels within the team, and all of the 9 Enablers of engagement had shown significant improvements. Staff reported the previously negative culture had been re-energised, and staff morale had considerably improved. Following the program the team did not receive any complaints for 7 months, were awarded Team of the Month, and received several positive comments and recommendations from patients.

“Since we embarked on the staff engagement programme, the culture of the team has dramatically improved, such that we now look forward to coming to work. We now consider ourselves to be a cohesive and effective team that is valued by the whole organisation.”