20 August 2020

Newham Community Group Programme Shaping Their Future

 By Doranne McDonald, Improvement Advisor

Members of the Community Group Programme team in Newham (a complement of occupational therapists, occupational therapy technicians, psychologists, a sports psychologist, social worker and service users), recently participated in two different workshops, on 24 June, and 8 July, 2020, respectively, to reflect on their experiences, and the changes the service had had to make during the COVID-19 period. These workshops were facilitated by staff from the Quality Improvement (QI), Performance, and People Participation teams.

Figure 1. Participants and facilitators attending the Community Group Programme workshops

The first workshop on 24 June, 2020, started with introductions, followed by a quick icebreaker for everyone to familiarize themselves with how to use Zoom. Following this, the context for the session was discussed alongside what would be happening. The team were then divided into four separate breakout rooms, each containing a facilitator, and were asked to each consider the impact of COVID-19 on their service across four areas: population health and inequalities, staff and service user experience, value, future service design, or enablers. Each of the breakout groups had a facilitated discussion, and then came back together to hear what had been discussed. The discussion resulted in some rich data, which was later themed by the facilitators, and sent back to the team.

Figure 2. Some of the key themes and challenges that emerged from the first Community Group Programme workshop

A second workshop was held on 8 July, 2020, with a particular focus on what specific activities should be retained, or stopped going forward, as well as future scenario planning for COVID.

Before the second workshop was held, an MS Forms questionnaire was sent to all the workshop participants to complete. Participants were asked to consider the changes to the Community Group Programme through the following four lenses: things stopped in response to COVID-19 that the team want to restart; things stopped in response to COVID-19 that did not need to be restarted; things started in response to COVID-19 that could be stopped completely; and things started in response to COVID-19 that the team wanted to continue, and amplify. The results of this questionnaire were then collated before the workshop by the facilitators.

After feedback from the previous workshop was given, the participants were divided into three breakout rooms, each containing a facilitator, and the results of the questionnaire were discussed. Each group was asked to select one or two main priorities from each of the questions that had been asked, to present back to the larger group. After each group provided feedback regarding the priorities they had chosen, a collective sense-making discussion was then held as a larger group, with a facilitator recording the priorities under each question, in situ, that the whole group eventually decided should be worked on, particularly in the next thirty days.

Figure 3. A summary of the key priorities the Community Group Programme will consider in future discussions

Following this, participants explored the impact of future COVID-19 scenarios and what effect this may have on the priorities they had chosen to work on. A summary of these is provided below.

Figure 5. A summary of the future scenario planning exercise

Following the workshop, the Community Group Programme Team spent some time reflecting on what had happened, and what they had discussed. The workshop was helpful for them to establish some guiding principles to develop the group programme going forward. They are now currently considering how potential future waves of COVID-19 will impact the programme and exploring what improvement tools would be useful to help test and learn their way to some effective solutions.

Newham Borough Lead Occupational Therapist, Marilyn Hodges commented after the workshops:

‘Thank you Doranne, Marco, Katherine, Rose, Sian and Claire for all the work to facilitate and make today happen. Certainly had its challenges from a technology perspective, but despite that, such rich contributions’.

‘Claire, to see you so happy, energised and excited at the end, was priceless’.

Newham Community Lead Occupational Therapist, Claire Brett commented:

‘Thank you for all the hard work that went into preparing for the sessions and gathering together the data. This will give us a good platform for taking things forward’

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