31 October 2014

Newham Health Team for People with Learning Disabilities Used Their Staff Away Day to Focus upon QI

Learning Disabilities Team

By Peter Sheils, Corporate Projects Manager

The team spent their recent away day focusing upon quality improvement and getting to grips with the Trust’s Quality Improvement methodology. The day was facilitated by Martina Watson, the Clinical Service Manager Newham Health Team for People with Learning Disabilities and Peter Sheils, Corporate Projects Manager who is supporting Martina and the team with its project. The earlier part of the day involved the facilitators, who are currently undertaking Wave 1 of the Trust’s QI training, providing the team with a whistle-stop tour of the QI methodology before asking them to dive into its application.

The team has an exciting, detailed and ambitious quality improvement project which will focus upon major aspects of the team’s functioning to achieve its aim: ‘By October 2015, we will consistently deliver high quality care in a manner that uses time and effort cost effectively’.

The aim of the project and its primary and secondary drivers were already established so that the day could focus upon generating change ideas for the secondary drivers. In advance of the away day, the team anonymously responded to questions in an online survey, eliciting their opinions on various aspects of the service which the team provides. The responses received, informed the twenty secondary drivers subsumed within the four primary drivers.

In three groups, the team generated numerous change ideas for each of the secondary drivers. They were then asked to anonymously prioritise the twenty secondary drivers, by casting five allocated votes each, using beans, to plastic ballot pots representing each secondary driver. A clear consensus of the priority secondary drivers was evident and was of no particular surprise to the team as the high priorities mostly included already acknowledged frustrations and areas which the team in general were keen to address and improve.

The team practiced turning some of their change ideas into proposed PDSA cycles before agreeing the leads and membership of each of the four Primary Driver Groups. The facilitators, Martina and Peter, who will be leading the project, will hold weekly, one hour meetings to provide support to the Primary Driver Leads. Each lead will have a ten minute slot within the hour during which they report on weekly data and seek support on any issues relating to their PDSA cycles and progress in terms of their primary and secondary driver objectives. Less frequent, but regular meetings between the Primary Driver Leads and the Project Leads will be convened to discuss wider project issues.

Peter and Martina reported that the level of engagement and enthusiasm was really inspiring and very optimistic. The team seemed to readily embrace the concept of quality improvement, its methodology and the Trust’s QI Programme.

Key aspects of the feedback from the team about the away day:

  • Being involved in the decision making was really refreshing
  • Great to have the opportunity to be involved in planning issues
  • Better than the usual top down approach
  • Great to focus upon improving the quality of clinical care and what matters to clinicians
  • It feels more democratic
  • Great to vote on what’s important for us as a team

The team are hoping to start running their first PDSA cycles in the next couple of weeks.

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