5 November 2017

New QI project: Making better use of our time across the directorate

Sarah Canning, Head of Administration & Dean Henderson, Borough Director, Project Team

Staff often report feeling really busy and overwhelmed by the amount of work they have to do. C&H QI Forum and Directorate Management Team have launched a project which aims to address this issue, through reducing waste and making our work more efficient – so that we can release time for the things that really add value.

Ultimately high quality patient care and improved patient outcomes and experience is all of our goal, so we need to challenge ourselves if we are spending time on activities that are of limited value and ensure this is instead diverted to what is most important. We want to empower and enable staff to always be able to put patient care at the forefront of their work.

We think using a QI approach can help us to come together, explore these issues and identify ideas that might help us. Often we are driven by habit, or feeling that we don’t have the time to step back and look at what we’re doing. QI encourages us to do this and develop and test our theories and ideas for change.

Specifically we know from talking to staff that meetings can sometimes feel of limited value, emails can become very difficult to manage, and sometimes tasks can be unnecessarily onerous, so we will be examining all these areas in the course of the project. We are looking to develop change ideas that are easy to implement, yet effective; that give staff more time to focus on patient care, by identifying tools that help us to get more out of our working day.

We will look to measure the improvement in a number of ways. We have already tested some changes of benefit, including going from a full minutes being taken in our twice monthly DMT, to just having an action tracker that is completed during the meeting. This saves admin hours of work typing up handwritten notes. DMT leads have also refocused agendas for meetings, so that meetings can be reduced. We will be capturing all of this quantitative data. It will also be important to gather qualitative data, and we will be putting together a focus group to help trial some of our ideas.

We are currently quite a small team, working for a large directorate, and would love to be joined from other staff from across the directorate who are interested. If this project sparks something in you, or you feel you have ideas that you would like to contribute, please do contact us, Sarah Canning: sarah.canning@elft.nhs.uk or Dean Henderson dean.henderson@elft.nhs.uk . All are welcome regardless of your QI knowledge – we would be delighted to have you on board!



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