21 February 2011, London
Spire Healthcare, the private hospital group, today reveals the level of impact of changes in company culture which has improved business and financial performance. A more commercial approach and devolution of power and responsibilities to individual hospitals has resulted in a dramatic improvement in employee engagement.
Over the past three years, Spire has embraced a high performance culture and invested £500k in management development programmes which has resulted in a 9.2 percentage point improvement in margins and £77m in EBITDA(1) in the healthcare group.
The Spire Healthcare Employee Engagement Survey, produced in conjunction with Ixia(2), also showed a significant improvement, with over 70% of employees judging Spire to be a “great place to work”, compared with 62% one year ago. An increase of 29% of employees (from 35% to 64%) feel they have ownership and accountability for Spire Healthcare’s business performance.
In the past three years the corporate structure has been devolved to hospital directors. Their knowledge has allowed them to buy equipment appropriate to local needs.
“Since working with Spire, I can now talk directly to decision makers and can influence our business plans and the investment in our services. This, in turn, means we can provide innovative treatment and ensure patients receive the best services available,” said Paul Chell, a consultant ophthalmic surgeon who practises at Spire South Bank Hospital, Worcester. “Thanks to this progressive and open approach, we have been able to create a world class facility in only three years, and invest in an important new laser department,” he said.
New management development programmes have meant a change from a paternalistic approach to one of high performance. Uptake of these programmes is currently 80%, and evaluation results indicate that 75% of managers now feel confident in managing and ensuring staff are aligned to organisational and business unit targets.
“Following the leadership training, I decided to change the hospital’s approach to staff management and created a staff driven business plan. Often it’s the staff who really know what a hospital needs and what direction it needs to go in,” said Ashley Sumner, Head of Clinical Services and Deputy Hospital Director, Spire Gatwick Park Hospital. “The increase in staff engagement has directly impacted on patient care.”
A recent patient satisfaction survey(3) found that 90% rated service from the hospitals excellent or very good. A total of 88% rated the nursing care as excellent or very good and 75% of patients said staff went out of their way to make a difference.
Rob Wise, Chief Executive of Spire Healthcare said: “Our strategy of empowering employees and giving them autonomy at a local level is reflected in the levels of staff engagement and resulted in a focus on achieving business goals. We have successfully found and maintained the fine balance of increasing our employees’ level of engagement while improving upon our financial results year on year.
“We have consistently worked hard to take Spire Healthcare and all its employees forward to improve our working culture and create energy within the organisation. I think these results highlight how far we have come in achieving this goal in a short time,” he said.
1 EBITDA figure and margin increase are based on management accounts (2010 over 2007) and includes 2007 Classic Hospitals preacquisition for a like for like comparison.
2 IXIA are specialists in engagement diagnostics and consulting. The independent survey was conducted during September 2009 and 2010 amongst 5000 Spire Healthcare employees.
3 Conducted in October 2010 among 11,303 patients.