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Recognition of success at the Countess of Chester

Author: Oliver Jobson

The Countess of Chester Hospital runs a 600-bed district general hospital and has nearly 4,000 staff serving around 450,000 patients a year, and also runs a 64-bed intermediate care services unit at Ellesmere Port Hospital.

Our input - The Countess Way

In 2008 the trust appointed Unipart Expert Practices to help develop a trust wide performance improvement programme to help deliver operating efficiencies and create a new culture. This programme – The Countess Way - remains extremely successful, delivering £4 million pounds worth of cost savings but more importantly engaging staff to ensure they were fully bought into any changes made.

The Countess Way puts the patient at the heart of all activities and makes each member of staff ’s responsibilities and accountabilities clear. The programme’s effects have ranged right across the Countess, from the redesign of the organisation’s structure and core HR processes, to Executive and Senior leadership development, and the establishment of more efficient clinical and administration patient pathways.

Irrespective of the area the programme has touched, there has been a consistent focus on the delivery of benefits in terms of quality, cost and patient service.


As a result The Countess of Chester Hospital has been shortlisted for two prestigious HR awards by the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.

The trust has been nominated for the Change Management, and new Corporate Responsibility award – facing some tough competition from well large well known organisations in both the public and private sectors.

In a recent interview with the National Health Executive, Susan Young - director of human resources - commented “It’s very much linked in with our organisational strategy, and our vision for the organisation, which is to have care at its best. To do that, we need people at their best, and the way we deliver that is through The Countess Way programme. It’s all about embedding the features of the change programme into day-today working.”

To read the article in the National Health Executive click here

To read our case study click here

The Unipart Way: performance improvement that sustains

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