2 July 2024

Coaching QI in the Path to Recovery Service



Sean Stone, Recovery Worker and Quality Improvement (QI) Coach for Addictions Specialist Service, talks about his experiences of coaching quality improvement projects in the Path 2 Recovery (P2R) service in Bedfordshire.



What was it like transitioning from being a coach in an inpatient team to a community team?

Prior to joining P2R, I worked as a life skills recovery worker in a mental health inpatient ward, where my journey as a QI coach began. The move from coaching in an inpatient team to coaching in a community team required adapting to a very different environment, with differences in client base, demands and capacity.

As an example, one of the main requirements of being a QI coach is being able to meet regularly with the project team. This is much easier in a community setting, due to the nature of the work environment, the work pattern of the team and utilising the developments from lockdown era to good effect. Whereas on a ward environment it can be difficult to have enough people attend let alone be available, without compromising the service users and workforce of the ward.


What difference did you notice in the team culture in P2R with the addition of you as a QI coach in the team?

One of the notable changes I observed after I joined the addictions services as QI coach was that my presence provided more opportunities for new projects to manifest. Change ideas which were once fleeting thoughts, can now be made a reality with the use of QI methodology. At present there are at least two projects in progress, albeit still in their infancy. However, it definitely feels like QI is at the forefront of team members’ minds and I am often approached by colleagues to discuss potential QI ideas.

Another change I have observed is the increased awareness of QI within the team. That’s not to say that there wasn’t awareness before or access to information was not available, but having someone physically present allows not just the human touch –it also allows for better responsiveness and open conversation about QI, unrestricted by time and location.


What are you most proud of in your experience as a QI coach?

The thing I’m most proud of in my experience as a QI coach is not so much seeing a project to completion as some might rightly claim, but the sight of seeing a team work through a problem together and come up with a solution – if not a plan; this is something made possible through my input into the discussion. In a weird sort of way, not being the protagonist but that supporting character whom makes the plot move forward is enriching. As with that little push be it big or small, the team is able to find its power and achieve their goal. To quote Coach Eric Taylor from the TV series version of Friday Night Lights: “Success is not a goal, it’s a by-product, so let’s put the work in”.


What do you hope to see happening in P2R in the upcoming year?

My hopes for P2R in the upcoming year is that we continue to strive for improvement in our service. The service is constantly evolving and encountering new challenges and I hope these can be faced not just with a healthy dose of caution but courage to confront them based on lessons learnt from before, the willingness to learn from mistakes –if not the challenge in general. I hope that the experience for both staff and clients will be in parallel in its betterment, without one improving at the expense of the other. However, overall I hope the community as a whole can view addictions services as something with a reduced stigma, ideally free of it; but one must view improvement as a progress, which is never a bad thing.



Copyright © 2024 East London Foundation Trust. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter

  • YesNo
  • 12345
    1 = poor | 5 = great
  • 12345
    1 = not useful at all | 5 = very useful


What are you looking for today?