Share your story – The Walton Centre: The NHS Trust Prioritising Patients & Staff

Written by Investors In People

Share your story – The Walton Centre: The NHS Trust Prioritising Patients & Staff

In the build-up to The Investors in People Awards 2021, we’ve been speaking to the finalists, asking them to tell us their stories and what winning an award would mean to them.

The Walton Centre is a leader in the treatment and care of neurology and neurosurgery, placing the patient and their family at the heart of everything they do. 

As the only specialist hospital trust in the UK dedicated to providing comprehensive neurology, neurosurgery, spinal and pain management services, they’re proud to be rated as an ‘Outstanding’ Trust by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) twice in a row and champion change throughout the field of neuroscience. 

The Trust was also re-accredited the IIP Gold Award status for the ‘We invest in people’ standard in 2020, followed by Gold accreditation of the ‘we invest in wellbeing’ standard in 2021.

They have leading specialists and incredibly dedicated staff delivering excellent clinical outcomes for brain, spinal and neurological care both nationally and internationally. 

As an employer, staff Health and Wellbeing is of paramount importance and they offer an extensive package of support for staff that supports mental, physical and social aspects of their lives, which are reflected in the Trust achieving the top score for acute trusts for health and wellbeing for the past five years in the National Staff Survey.

We spoke to The Walton Centre about why they entered the awards, what a win would mean to them and what the future holds:

Why did you enter The Investors in People Awards 2021?

Many of our health and wellbeing initiatives are led/championed by our staff. We wanted to recognise the incredible work our team do and celebrate their resilience and dedication to staff health and wellbeing, particularly during the changing and challenging environment of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, we wanted to share our journey and the initiatives that have proved successful for The Walton Centre and inspire other organisations across all sectors, therefore improving the health and wellbeing of staff on a national and international footprint.

Are there any goals or challenges you hope an award will help you achieve or solve?

If we win this award, it would be an incredible achievement! The staff’s health and well-being have become even more apparent during the pandemic and its long-term effects, which require additional support.  

Winning the award would support us in the Trust-wide rollout of existing initiatives, e.g. our theatres health and wellbeing project and the launch of new programmes to enhance our health and wellbeing offer. 

For example, the launch of the health and wellbeing champions programme – a voluntary role open to all staff to support awareness-raising and contribute to a positive culture, and the appointment of a lead facilitator role co-ordinating the champions and Mental Health First Aid programmes comprising of training, events, and peer support workshops.

It would also assist the organisation in achieving our aspiration of attaining IIP platinum status, making us the first NHS Trust to gain this in the country.

Tell us what distinguishes you from other companies in the category you’re shortlisted in.

The Walton Centre is one of few public sector organisations to make it onto the shortlist. We’re proud of what we’ve been able to achieve with limited resources at a time when the NHS is on the frontline of fighting a global pandemic. 

Staff face unprecedented challenge and pressure in the fight against COVID-19, so for them to be recognised for their dedication to supporting each other, as well as patients, is something to be incredibly proud of.

During the pandemic, the Trust achieved the top score for acute trusts for health and well-being in the National Staff Survey for the past five years. It was awarded the IIP Gold Award status for the ‘we invest in people’ and ‘we invest in wellbeing’ standards.


“Staff said they wanted to be listened to. The Trust heard that and created support by staff for staff. We are greeted professionally by staff and work with HR teams who are dedicated to staff wellbeing. They show initiative and leadership and make a special effort to achieve something quickly for staff requiring support. It is a pleasure working with The Walton Centre HR staff.’’

-Network of Staff Support staff counselling provider

 “The flexibility has transformed work for me in a positive way. I gain time back in my personal life and have enough days on-site to feel linked in with colleagues. The 50:50 split enabled by the Trust is perfect.”

The Walton Centre employee

 “I have worked in different places, and at The Walton Centre, they look after the staff better than anywhere else – it makes it easier to look after the patients,” and “I can’t speak highly enough of the way they look after our wellbeing.”

IIP we invest in wellbeing assessment report.

What does being shortlisted mean to everyone at your company?

Everyone is overjoyed to be shortlisted! We couldn’t wait to tell the rest of the organisation when the news came out. It rippled through the staff body, and everyone was so proud.

As soon as the CEO found out, she sent out an internal message to celebrate and congratulate the staff for their hard work! We also spread the IIP love on our social media channels – just to be a finalist is an achievement!

What would it mean to win?

It would be an incredible achievement for staff who have championed the initiatives and the organisation overall. Looking after the health and wellbeing of our team is paramount at The Walton Centre. Again, this achievement would reflect our staff’s fantastic culture and dedication to providing the right environment to provide outstanding care to our patients and their families.

How does being shortlisted benefit your customers?

At The Walton Centre, we firmly believe that happy, healthy staff results in improved patient outcomes, i.e. happy patients – which is of the utmost importance. This achievement would reflect the fantastic culture our staff have built and the dedication to providing the right environment to provide outstanding care to our patients and their families.

How would you use being the recipient of this award to influence others?

Winning the award would provide a platform for us to share our journey and the initiatives that have proved successful and inspire other organisations across all sectors, therefore improving staff health and wellbeing of staff on a national and international footprint.

What can we expect to see from your organisation in the next 12 months? (And beyond!)

We hope to achieve our aspiration of IIP Platinum status! Further enhancing our health and wellbeing offer being responsive to the legacy of the pandemic – future areas of focus have been identified as enhancement of the agile/flexible working, mental health, counselling and coaching support, and physical activity.

Staff engage better with people they know and trust; to reach as many staff as possible, we are introducing health and wellbeing champions – these staff members will work with colleagues to help implement best practices and encourage others. Also appointing a lead facilitator role co-ordinating the champions and MHFA programmes comprising training, events, and peer support workshops.

What advice would you give to anyone applying for The Investors in People Awards 2022?

Don’t be afraid to show IIP what you are achieving and aspire to achieve in the future. IIP awards are a fantastic forum for showcasing best practices. It is all about sharing those initiatives and experiences with colleagues both nationally and internationally and inspiring other organisations to improve the health and well-being of their staff.

About Investors in People

Investors in People have been working with a huge range of big and small organisations from Public Sectors, SMEs, Charities, PLCs and anything in between for over 30 years. We have accredited more than 50,000 organisations and our  accreditation is recognised in 66 countries around the world, making it the global benchmark when it comes to people management. So we know we speak your language and can offer the specific kind of support and guidance your organisation needs.

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14th Nov 2023 | Old Billingsgate, London



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