Lightening the Load


In A Nutshell:

Our ‘Lightening the load’ offer aims to improve staff morale and relationships. This initiative was launched through our ‘Beyond Demoralised’ report (Jan 2022) which details 5 key messages about current harsh realities of working on the NHS frontline and how we, at the Improvement Academy, wish to help.

‘Beyond Demoralised’ is our latest report revealing 5 key messages about the current realities of working on the NHS frontline. The messages are not new, but have intensified through and since the pandemic and relate to staff having to: respond to Covid-19, suffer ‘moral injury’, be dispersed from their teams, go without basic needs, and experience strained relationships with managers. Keen to provide more than a commentary on the state of things, our ‘Lightening the load’ offer aims to improve staff morale and relationships.

Our approach involves building a partnership with managers to enhance support for their team via: frontline team-based ethnography, manager interviews; brokering between managers and team; developing a series of team portraits that depict unique stressors of individual professional groups; identifying tangible pinch points to respond to; measurement and learning.

We are currently working with 2 clinical teams to pilot ‘Lightening the Load’ and the learning and insights gained will inform our next steps. If you would like any more information about this programme please contact

who we are working with

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“I think your presentation yesterday was a good catalyst in capturing the attention of our senior Exec team in seeing ‘there is hope’-what we all need to see!”

Gail Dunning Head of Organisational Development and Improvement Learning (ODIL) York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust