11 June 2020

Newham Perinatal team ‘Shaping their future’

By Doranne McDonald and Marco Aurelio Improvement Advisors

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced different healthcare teams across ELFT to adapt and change the way they provide care to their services users overnight. The speed with which this challenge has been embraced has been awe-inspiring. However, as the country emerges from the first peak of COVID-19, there is also a need to reflect on these changes, in order to understand the impact on both service users and staff.

In April, 2020, teams were encouraged to undertake a short survey called a ‘Quality impact assessment’, which served as a log of the changes made during the early phase of the pandemic, and began to ask questions about potential impact of these changes. To follow up the findings from the quality impact assessments, ELFT has committed to support conversations across the organisation. This is an opportunity for teams and service users to have protected time together, to reflect on their experiences, through workshops facilitated by colleagues from the Performance, People Participation and Quality Improvement teams.

On Wednesday, 3 June 2020, 16 members of Newham’s Perinatal team (a complement of doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and administrative workers) were one of the first teams across the trust to take part in one of these facilitated sessions. Prior to the session the facilitators worked with Laura the Operational Lead to understand what would be helpful for the team. The two-hour session provided a welcome protected space to reflect on and consider the team’s experiences of the past few months and think how their service could look in future.

The workshop started with a brief icebreaker, using an online survey, in order to gauge how the team were feeling about what had, and had not, been helpful changes to their regular service delivery during this time. The heart of the session then consisted of the team having time to consider future design of the service through the lens of population health, staff and service user experience, value, future service model, and enablers.

To frame this discussion, a ‘Microsoft Forms’ questionnaire was worked through as part of the session. The comments from staff resulted in a huge amount of rich, descriptive data, which will help in thinking about what is important in future service delivery. Some of the key themes are shown below in the table below.

Figure 1. Newham Perinatal team outputs from Shaping the Future framework

With so much to discuss as part of the session, the team felt that the conversation needed more time, and decided to hold another shorter facilitated session on the 24th June. This will aim to help the teamwork through a decision-making matrix (Figure 2) to consider what to continue to take forward, and future scenario planning. After the workshop, the facilitators themed the data and feedback, and were able to share it with the Perinatal team within 48 hours.

Figure 2. Decision making matrix

This was one of the first sessions run across ELFT, and an evaluation of the session helped to understand how the session felt for the team, and highlighted areas for improvement (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Participant evaluation feedback

Going forward, the feedback highlights that there is a need to find the right balance in these sessions, with a bit more time for discussion, and then moving quickly to supporting teams to practical next steps.

These are important learning points that will help inform future conversations, but overall it was inspiring to have one team member report that it:

“Makes us and our work feel valued to have this level of input”


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


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