23 July 2021

Primary Care: One Year Into an Improvement Journey

Story and sketchnotes by Nicola Ballingall, Improvement Advisor

In this 3 minute illustrated read, get a better understanding of the shared purpose of Primary Care in 2021; looking at the strengths and aspirations of the team as well as how they want to enable improvement this year. Also learn about the improvement tools they used to gather these insights.

One year into their improvement journey in March 2021, the Primary Care directorate had a visit from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). They used the session to reflect on how they have already managed to get six Quality Improvement (QI) projects up and running and to develop a shared purpose for the year, illustrated in the sketchnote below:


Figure 1: A graphic showing Primary Care’s shared purpose for 2021

One of Primary Care’s challenges is to bring together the improvement tools they’ve learned from NHS England’s GP development programme, Time for Care, with East London Foundation Trust’s sequence of improvement.  Clinical Director Liz Dawson brought together the QI leads, Coaches, Sponsors, QI Department, a service user and People Participation Lead with Derek Feeley and Pedro Delgado from the IHI. They carried out an Appreciative Inquiry, a way of drawing out the strengths and aspirations of the teams.

Here’s what they said:

Figure 2: A graphic showing the Appreciative Inquiry session run by the team

With this consensus on a shared purpose, they moved on to a change conversation. Using NHS England’s Change Model, the group planned how they will enable and champion improvement over the next year through leadership by all, measurement and mobilising teams to test out their own ideas.

Here’s what they said:

Figure 3: A graphic to show the outcomes of the change conversation had by the Primary Care team

These conversations are evidence of the incredible energy in Primary Care to provide the best possible support to service users. Their aims for 2021 are to have one QI project in each GP practice and have all staff trained in improvement. Through developing learning networks across the directorate, peer to peer support and some healthy competition, they are striving to build an improvement culture that is collaborative, empowering and fun.

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