Flexible working in action from the top at First Community

Sarah Billiald, First Community’s CEO, has worked four days a week since she joined the company in November 2016.  This allows her to lead First Community successfully as well as maintain her responsibilities as a carer.

‘Using First Community’s flexible working policy to shape my working hours around my responsibilities outside work (typical sandwich generation pressures with a seven year old son and aging parents) was really important to me,’ said Sarah. ‘I am able to work four days a week but other colleagues have different arrangements to meet their needs, and our organisational needs, as we deliver first class clinical services. We have nurses who work evening and night shifts, physiotherapists who work four days a week, immunisation nurses who have term-time only contracts, and support staff who work 8am-4pm Of course the needs of colleagues and the business change over time too so we endeavour to be flexible as circumstances change.’

First Community also operates ‘a bank’ workforce which offers even more flexibility to qualified staff who don’t want to commit to set hours.

Sarah was particularly pleased that CQC inspectors identified that First Community’s approach to inclusivity has a positive impact. The report said:

‘The entire board was committed to running an organisation that had equality for staff and patients at the heart of how it delivered services. The examples were too numerous to list but the current board appointed a part-time CEO, who was able to role model work-life balance and who provided a strong message to staff about equality in the workplace. We heard many stories and met many staff who talked to us about how the organisation had found ways of enabling them to continue working or supported professional development in challenging circumstances.’

‘I hope my working part-time demonstrates how committed First Community is about being flexible and inclusive. I would encourage anyone thinking of applying for a job at First Community to talk to us about flexing roles around your work/life balance. Our friendly team of clinical managers and HR team are open to discussing a range of options.’

For more information about current vacancies at First Community, contacts, and what it is like working at First Community, go to https://www.firstcommunityhealthcare.co.uk/work-us  or contact the HR team at 01737 775450.

For an independent assessment of First Community read the CQC report: https://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/new_reports/AAAG4287.pdf