The COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the extent to which society depends upon essential workers, with health and social care workers in particular playing a critical role in pulling us through the crisis.

Last year people took to the streets to applaud their heroic work.  But what happens now that the clapping has stopped?  What is the aftermath of COVID-19 on the health and social care workers who have spent the last year working under extreme pressure in sometimes dangerous conditions?  What lessons from before and during the pandemic should we take forward into the post-covid era?

Across June and July, the PrOPEL Hub, in partnership with the Healthcare People Management Association, will be running a series of free events drawing on evidence gathered before and during the pandemic to explore the implications of Covid-19 for employment relations in the Health & Social Care sector across the 4 UK nations. 


Employee Engagement and Productivity in the National Health Service in England

Monday 7 June, 3-4pm

The links between employee experience and individual and organisational performance have been well documented.  However, how does this translate to a healthcare setting? How does employee engagement impact patient outcomes such as patient satisfaction, patient mortality and infection rates?  What are the implications for people management in the healthcare sector?

At this webinar, Christian van Stolk, Executive Vice President at RAND Europe will explore how staff engagement is linked with both individual outcomes – such as rates of absenteeism or presenteeism – and patient and organisational outcomes such as better quality of care and financial performance.


Understanding Human Capital amongst Social Care Employees  

Tuesday 8 June, 3-4pm

Non-profit organisations (NPOs) are established to fulfil a collective, public or social need and – as the name suggests – are ‘not for profit’! However, NPOs now face growing competition for funding and resources to survive. To enhance their organisational value, performance and ultimately competitiveness, they are increasingly looking to progressive management strategies as a solution.

What benefits and limitations does such an approach have within an NPO? How does the requirement that NPOs be competitive and sustainable impact their ability to fulfil their original social mission?

At this webinar, Dr Martin McCracken, Research Director at Ulster University Business School and Dr Denise Currie, Senior Lecturer at Queens University Belfast, will explore what the evidence tells us and consider implications for policymakers and practitioners.


Wellbeing, Working Life and Coping Strategies during COVID-19– Experiences of Health and Social Care Workers

Thursday 10 June, 3-4pm

The last year has thrown up numerous challenges for health and social care workers often juggling increased workloads, stressful working environments and personal responsibilities.  How has the mental wellbeing of health and social care workers been impacted and what coping strategies have they adopted during this challenging time?

At this webinar, Dr Denise Currie, Senior Lecturer at Queens University Belfast, Dr Paula McFadden, Senior Lecturer at Ulster University and Dr Jermaine Ravalier, Reader at Bath Spa University, will give a snapshot of findings from research carried out during two different phases of the COVID-19 crisis and discuss practical tips for managers, employers and regulators on how to best support their workforce through the pandemic and into a ‘rebuilding phase’ post pandemic.


Partnership working and work engagement in NHS Scotland

Monday 14 June, 3-4pm

Partnership working in NHS Scotland has been crucial to employment relations for more than two decades and has recently been required to pivot towards health and social care integration, and contribute to responses to the COVID19 crisis. Research by the University of Strathclyde in partnership with NHS Scotland has assessed the impact of Partnership arrangements; and how they set the context for employee engagement strategies across the NHS and care.

At our upcoming webinar, Patricia Findlay Director at the Scottish Centre for Employment Research at the University of Strathclyde highlight key takeaways from more than a decade worth of research into partnership working in the NHS and care sector and consider the future of partnership working post Covid-19. She will be joined by Shirley Rogers, Director of Organisational Readiness at Scottish Government.  Shirley will share her lived experience of partnership working and provide practical insight on the “how” of implementing such an approach from her years as NHS Scotland Chief People Officer and Scottish Government Workforce and Strategy Director.


Inclusive leadership in the NHS – in conversation with Roger Kline

Friday 18 June, 11-12pm

In this session, Richard Saundry of the Centre for Decent Work at the University of Sheffield will be talking to Roger Kline, Research Fellow at Middlesex Business School about his extensive work in the NHS around the development of inclusive leadership. Roger will outline the case for more inclusive approaches to leadership and management and the practical steps that NHS organisations and those in other sectors can take to make this a reality.


Values-based Recruitment in Adult Social Care

Wednesday 23 June, 4 – 5.30pm

In this session colleagues from Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, the Good Employment Learning Lab and Wigan Local Authority will share their experiences of delivering Values Based Recruitment training to line managers in the adult social care sector.

The team will reflect on the rationale for using values based recruitment, and lessons learned from participants’ exploration and implementation of VBR for the social care sector and beyond. Aimed at policy-makers and practitioners, the session offers a space for open discussion of VBR in the adult social care sector.


Enhancing fairness and justice in people management

Friday 2 July, 1-2pm

This session explores the development of a Just and Learning Culture at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, which has transformed the way that potential disciplinary issues are managed and had a wider impact on organisational culture. 

Amanda Oates, Executive Director of Workforce and Kristina Brown, Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Management at Northumbria University will discuss this innovative work and lessons for organization inside and outside the NHS.