Lancashire mental health trust blasted for ‘absurd’ £200k scheme

Blue Wave of Change
Blue Wave of Change

A £200,000 training scheme for Lancashire mental health nurses has been blasted as “evangelical, brainwashing silliness” by a member of staff.

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust has spent £68,000 on its Blue Wave of Change programme since February, which it says boosts staff morale and develops leadership skills amongst its nursing workforce.

The training includes holding hands, dancing and singing a song about positive change.

The total cost will be £207,000 when the training is completed in July 2016.

Recordings of the sessions have been posted on Youtube.

Almost 100 people have received the training, including front-line nurses, but one staff member, who did not wish to be named, said: “The Blue Wave of Change is one of a number of ridiculous ‘initiatives’ that even primary schoolchildren would be embarrassed to take part in, and it is especially inappropriate at a time when funding cuts make it even more vital that the budget is prioritised into the provision and quality of clinical services...rather than wasted on evangelical, brainwashing silliness.”

The source said that the “absurd, contrived American-style training schemes” took expensive staff off the shop floor to hold hands and sing about leadership.

They added: “The Trust needs to focus its resources on clinical services, both inpatient and outpatient, instead of paying New Age numpties to divert clinicians from their real role.”

The trust said it was “disappointed” that the programme - provided by Glasgow based Fiona MacNeill Associates – had been referred to in this way, and said it has received positive responses from a large majority of delegates.

A spokeswoman said: “The Trust covers the entire Lancashire footprint and as such the programme provides a great opportunity for our nurses from all areas to come together and share best practice.

“Working on the programme encourages all delegates to think about their leadership skills and helps them to develop which in turn has a positive effect on their working styles which ultimately provides improved quality of care for our service users.

“The programme also supports nurses to deal with change and to think creatively, which are important skills in terms of developing a future workforce of strong nurse leaders. Additionally, the programme has supported the collaborative development of the Trust’s vision for quality, quality commitments and tools for use in supervision and personal development.

“96 people, including frontline nurses have received the formal training and this has enabled wider engagement with another additional 1,500 nurses across the Trust.”