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Case study 2: Establishing a staff forum – Talking Therapies Berkshire


Recent annual NHS Staff Surveys have shown that some staff do not feel involved in decision-making within the service. In response, we have established a Staff Forum meeting (online) monthly that staff are invited to attend. It is intended to be a place where staff can raise issues and inform service-wide decision making. It introduces opportunities for non-managers to contribute their views on how the service works.

Staff wellbeing issue

Recent NHS Staff Survey results have indicated the service could do much more to make staff feel involved in making service changes or improvements, and that senior managers could involve staff more in decision-making.


The Staff Forum involves a staff member from each team within the service, to ensure wide representation to discuss service changes, initiatives and developments. These include Step 2 and Step 3 therapists (CBT and Counselling modalities from Step 3), employment support advisors, administrators, business support staff, and wellbeing service support workers.

It has so far been successful in informing several service developments including:

  • changes to locality meeting agendas to include a ‘staff innovations’ section to discuss and explore service-related developments and changes. An example of this was service-wide discussion and feedback on a significant change to the Step 3 assessment process.
  • using brief surveys within locality meetings and service wide communications. We asked how staff, for example, would like compliments to be received which had been sent to the service via patient experience questionnaires.

One Staff Forum meeting was opened to the whole service. The ‘Improving staff participation and involvementevent’ was attended by around 50 staff members and discussed what staff would like to be consulted on and how. We found that they wanted to be more involved in service-wide developments and staff wellbeing discussions, and had strong preferences for this via line-management conversations or staff surveys.


The benefit of the Staff Forum so far is a monthly place to discuss service-developments generating a range of ideas and suggestions that can inform service changes. It has also paved the way for more discussion about service developments in other staff meetings. For example, it has resulted in more discussion within service locality meetings about developments, initiatives and ideas, and ‘Team briefs’ have become more interactive by including short staff surveys.

Next steps

The Staff Forum will continue to be held monthly and evolve as it is informed by the group and wider staff. We plan to include brief notes relating to main topics discussed and actions agreed to service-wide team briefs so that the wider service are included in discussions held within the Staff Forum meetings.