31 May 2024

The IHI Board Visit Tower Hamlets Community Health Services

Written by Tejinder Seehra (Senior Executive Assistant) and Clarissa Sørlie (Improvement Advisor) 

Ten years ago, ELFT embarked on a partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), an organisation that works across 42 countries to address complex challenges in health and healthcare using improvement methods.  

On 9th April 2024, Tower Hamlets Community Health Services (CHS) proudly hosted the IHI Board to showcase how they apply quality improvement in practice. This was the first time in our history that the Board have visited ELFT services. Visitors included Don Berwick (founding CEO of the IHI) and Kedar Mate (current President and CEO of the IHI).   

Natalie Bignell opened the visit by sharing her experience of using multiple community health services in Tower Hamlets. She introduced Petra Nittel (deputy director), Alex Hadayah (lead therapist) and Dr Alex Harborne (clinical director) who invited the Board to join small group discussions. 


Right to left: John Kauzeni, Natalie Bignell, Petra Nittel, Alex Hadayah, Dr Alex Harborne 


In their small groups, the Board heard directly from Tower Hamlets staff about how they use quality improvement to tackle complex problems. Discussion topics included improving communication with GPs, helping staff to feel safer in their work, avoiding admission, optimal handed care, diabetes self-management and the role of sponsors.  

The session closed with Board members sharing their reflections and questions. Tower Hamlets CHS were praised for their systematic use of quality improvement and their focus on service user and staff satisfaction.  

The IHI Board hear from Tower Hamlets CHS 

Chief Quality Officer Dr Amar Shah said that the Board ‘were deeply touched by what they heard.’  He added that, ‘they all recounted experiences and observations that helped them understand better how quality improvement is used in practice, and the impact that it is having.’   

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