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HEIW and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board win CIPD Award for improving employee investigations across NHS Wales

Published 18 March 2024

A winning example of partnership working

On Friday 15 March, Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) won the ‘Change Management Initiative’ award at the 2024 CIPD in Wales Awards.

The prestigious award recognises the success of a collaborative project which is supporting NHS Wales organisations reduce avoidable employee harm by improving the delivery of their disciplinary policies and processes.

The ‘Improving Employee Investigations’ programme was originally developed by ABUHB’s HR and Employee Wellbeing Service, who identified an overuse of its disciplinary policy. The first thirteen months saw a reduction of 71% in the number of disciplinary investigations commissioned within the health board, alongside considerable savings in sickness absence and financial costs.

Since then, HEIW has played a key role in maximising the programme and making it available for organisations across NHS Wales. This has been achieved through the ‘Employee investigations: Looking after your people and the process’ training and a growing programme of research, underpinned by a focus on ‘avoidable employee harm’.

Following the win at the CIPD Awards in Wales, Assistant Director of Organisational Development, Wellness and Inclusion at HEIW, Rhiannon Windsor, said: “This programme is a powerful example of collaborative working. We’re absolutely delighted that this work with colleagues at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board has been recognised by the CIPD. The importance of looking after individuals involved in employee investigations is central to improving the overall disciplinary process. We are looking forward to seeing the ongoing impact this has across NHS Wales.”

Andrew Cooper is Head of Programmes in the Employee Wellbeing Service at ABUHB, and has been working with HEIW to support the roll of out of the programme. He said: “It’s been great to join the HEIW team to share this work and the impact it can have. When we started, the focus was on the harm that poorly commissioned and led investigations can have on the individual at the centre of them. However, we’ve increasingly seen how they can impact those involved in leading the process, including line managers, HR colleagues and union representatives.

“We hope this award continues to highlight the impact that poorly commissioned and led investigations can have on both employees and their organisations – and drive the change for a more compassionate and people-centric approach to be taken.”

Find out more about the winning example of partnership working between HEIW and ABUHB, here.