Creating Change through Mediation at Norfolk Hospital
BY DAVID HANNANT
Mediation can truly turn things around. A shining example being Laura Skaife-Knight during her time as Deputy CEO of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. With a focus on kindness, wellness, and fairness, along with calling out poor behavior, she oversaw vast improvements and raised the hospital’s rating.
Now, as she moves on to her next challenge as Chief Executive at NHS Orkney, let’s take inspiration from her approach and strive for positive change through mediation.
The former deputy chief of one of the region’s main hospitals has reflected on her time at the crumbling site as she heads to a new role on a remote Scottish island.
Laura Skaife-Knight spent almost four years as deputy chief executive of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, during which time she oversaw vast improvements at the trust.
She is due to take over as chief executive at NHS Orkney next month, having left her post at the QEH.
Now, speaking on Newcross Healthcare’s Voice of Care podcast, she reflected on her time at the trust, describing the work that went into shaking an unenviable reputation.
She said: “If we turn the clock back three or four years, the hospital was quite literally the worst performing hospital in the country. It was considered a basket case and that’s not a good place to be. We were bottom of the table on every indicator. At the heart of our challenge was working with an organisation and a workforce that was battered and bruised and, in some cases, had actually given up.”
She said a key part of the approach to turning things around was “kindness, wellness and fairness” and “calling out poor behaviour”.