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Worcestershire NHS trust manager is Britain's Best Boss 2009

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Debbie Hinton (pictured), county audiology services manager for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, has been awarded the title of Britain's Best Boss by Working Families supported by BT.

Hinton was nominated by several of her 48-strong team, who provide services for people with hearing problems in four hospitals and several satellite clinics across Worcestershire.

They were appreciative of her can-do attitude to flexibility that meant some were able to vary their hours depending on personal commitments.

Hinton was described as "kind, caring but firm", "willing to listen to her staff" and "always very encouraging and urging us to be the best we can, so that our patients get the best and friendliest service possible".
 
She said: "I have recently reduced my own hours and can now support my son and daughter in their chosen careers, visit my parents more frequently and get to ride in the daylight in the winter.
 
"I have promoted a culture where my staff feel comfortable requesting a change to their hours and working patterns. This has been a ‘win-win' strategy for everyone and we have been able to offer extra clinics to our patients as a result. Staff retention, timekeeping, productivity and general levels of motivation have all significantly improved. If I need extra hours worked to achieve a particular target or new service, my team always provide me with appropriate participation and fresh ideas."
 
Working Families launched Britain's Best Boss in 2000 to find the unsung heroes who make a real difference to the lives of the people who work for them. It celebrates exceptional bosses who run successful teams while helping their employees to achieve a good work-life balance. This year, supported by BT, the competition received nominations from people in organisations of all types, sizes and sectors across the country.

 Hinton will be officially declared Britain's Best Boss 2009 at a ceremony at the BT Tower in London on Thursday, 26 November. Ann Keen MP, parliamentary under secretary for health services, will present her with the trophy.


The following were given special commendation: Anne Axford, associate director, learning and development at Portsmouth City Primary Care Trust, "for being at the heart of her highly flexible team"; Julia McGinley, parent support manager at Netmums, "for setting the standard for new virtual businesses"; Stephen Paine, global head of infrastructure at UBS, "for being a role model for City bosses"; and Julie Pereira, company secretary at Capgemini UK, "for using agile working practices to motivate her team".
 
Sarah Jackson, chief executive of Working Families and chair of the judging panel, said: "We were very impressed by the way Debbie's flexible management style has led to a great improvement in the service her team offers patients.

"She disproves the myth that allowing people to work in a variety of different patterns is impractical for client-facing teams. We hope that managers across the public and private sectors will follow her lead."