Directors at Cwm Taf University Health Board are back on the frontline of the NHS over the next few weeks, carrying out shifts alongside their colleagues across the health board.

The initiative, which has been extended to more senior managers this year, will be working in clinical and non-clinical departments including A&E, theatres, community hospitals, pharmacies, catering and estates.

While directors and senior managers in Cwm Taf already carry out regular visits to meet staff and talk to patients, this initiative sees them actually working alongside colleagues in the same role, to get a real feel for the work some of the nearly 8,000-strong workforce does every day.

Since the initiative began in 2015 it has enabled staff and directors to exchange open and honest feedback to make improvements, as well as raised the profile of different healthcare roles and their importance in the NHS structure.

Cwm Taf University Health Board CEO Allison Williams who worked a shift as a healthcare support worker in A&E last year will this year work as a member of staff on a medical ward, as well as complete a shift with one of the housekeeping teams.

“The Back to the Frontline initiative is now embedded within the health board and going from strength to strength,” she said. “Not only does it help directors genuinely connect with staff and see at first-hand what they face day-to-day, we get to speak directly with more of our patients about their experiences and what can be done to make things better.”

Dr Kelechi Nnoaham, the Director of Public Health spent a day with pharmacists in the community in Ferndale, Rhondda last week while Cwm Taf’s Chief Operating Officer spent a day working with the blood sciences and pathology team at Royal Glamorgan Hospital.