23 November 2017

How having a solid QI strategy can help teams persevere

Charles Kennedy-Scott QI Coach – Forensics

QI Coach Charles Kennedy-Scott was involved in the Improving Access in City and Hackney Adult Mental Health project, which aimed at allowing 95% of patients to be given a face-to-face appointment by April 2017. In this blog, Charles reflects on how having a solid QI strategy in place can help teams persevere.

In 2015-2016 the biggest struggle with the QI meeting seemed to be consistency. The attendees varied from week to week and there was no fixed nor rolling agenda, so items discussed and agreed one week were often discussed and agreed (differently) the next week by a different set of attendees.

The enthusiasm to keep going seemed to remain though, and this meant that, though slightly haphazardly, progress began to be made. Some of this was due to decisions that were made outside of the QI group. Decisions that had to be made for business reasons, but little by little, progress resulted from ideas put forward by the group. Around this time, more emphasis began being placed on consistent attendees and recording of actions.

When we had QI coach involvement, the project also progressed forward more strongly than when it was absent. The coach provided a focus for the group and she persuaded the group to think clearly and focus on goals and purpose. Whether the group realised it or not, the introduction of measures and tests began to have a positive effect.

The project continued. It was one that had to succeed as it was trying to achieve a strict target set on the Trust. Interestingly, without QI I think it is unlikely that the group would have continued to meet every two weeks over such a long period. But the QI backbone provided structure and almost ‘enforced’ a reason to continue meeting. This was positive. The persistence paid off, and by now good results were being achieved. But not only this, they were being understood better than had they been imposed or simply implemented, as would be usual in an absence of a quality improvement methodology.

At the beginning, with the group and project somewhat in disarray, success seemed far off and unlikely. But the group had to learn and did learn. Not giving up, continuing to meet, brought real and sustained success.

Read more about the project by clicking on the image below:


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