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A real sense of community – at the first Q welcome event

The first Q members welcome event – in the North East and North Cumbria on 22 March – offered a real sense of community to the 120 new joiners. Q Community Manager Matthew Mezey shares his experience.

The first Q members welcome event – in the North East and North Cumbria on 22 March – offered a real sense of community to the 120 new joiners.

It got off to an unusual and enticing start: the room darkened room to reveal a live interview with a patient spotlighted in the centre. This literally put the insights and obstacles revealed by patient experience at the heart of things, where it belongs.

We’ve already heard about networks being strengthened in mental health, maternity care and responding to clinical deterioration
Tony Roberts (PSC Programme Lead, AHSN NENC)

This led into a buzzing event built around exploring and investigating.

Welcomes and presentations from NENC AHSN team and Q saw Seamus O’Neill (Chief Executive, NENC AHSN) share how their emphasis has been around trusting the QI practitioners, mobilising them. Even to the extent that funding choices were determined by the practitioners themselves rather than being decided from above.

“We’re moving from a project focus to a Q movement”, Seamus explained.

Artists hard at working at the welcome event

Q Head of Delivery Stacey Lally focused in particular on ways members with different amounts of time can engage: from 5 mins (eg following on Twitter), to 30 (eg enjoying an ‘Randomised Coffee Trial’ chat), to more (using learning resources from BMJ Quality Improvements Reports or the Institute for Healthcare Improvement; or launching a new Special Interest Group).

Dr David Yarrow’s session on ‘Getting Your Change to The Tipping Point’

The event then opened up to a range of stalls and sessions – in  cycle of ‘explore’, ‘investigate’ and then ‘pledge’.

Examples of pledges made by member include:

  • Share my improvement skills with other organisations which need them in the next six months. Happy to have coaching conversations
  • Nurture and develop others to do research into quality improvement and encourage the impact of these findings to raise improvement of quality impact in the NHS
  • Link in with other regional pharmacists
  • I would love to look into the idea of using ‘Patient Voices’ – ie a video to look into helping informed consent regarding dnacpr (do not attempt CPR) decisions
  • Join a couple of SIGs!  [Note: here is the list of Q SIGs]
  • Learn more about Twitter and engage through that route with Q  [Note: the Q Twitter account is here: @theQCommunity]
Gill Collinson (Head of Nursing) shares how commissioning can drive innovation and improvement

Learning sessions included ‘Network Leadership’, with the Sustainable Improvement team from NHS England and Dr Pip Hardy – of the Patient Voices Programme – sharing compelling digital stories from patients and staff.

We’re moving from a project focus to a Q movement
– Seamus O’Neill (Chief Executive, NENC AHSN)

“We’ve had some really positive feedback about the event: it was different, vibrant and with a great range of people from all parts of healthcare enthusiastic to improve together”, said Tony Roberts, Patient Safety Collaborative Programme Lead, Academic Health Science Network North East and North Cumbria.

“Next steps for Q will be driven by our large new membership connecting together to make delivering their improvement work easier.”

“We’ve already heard about networks being strengthened in mental health, maternity care and responding to clinical deterioration. The AHSN team will support Q members to make the most of their network and to identify opportunities to respond to the areas of development members have identified,” he added.

With my Q Community Manager hat on, it was great to find Q members keen to both join Q Special Interest Groups, or set up new ones where there is a need. I also spotted one anonymous post-it amongst all the feedback at one stall. It read: ‘Facilitate the formation of a network for Planners and for Project Managers in the NHS’. If you wrote this, please get in touch and I can tell you more about forming and promoting a SIG, and the support available to help you. Indeed, if you’re keen to connect with others who share your particular improvement passion, take a look through the current list of Q SIGs and make contact, or convene a new one.

Dr. Emma Lim and Dr Rachel Agbeko’s learning session on the Great North Children’s Hospital work on parents and young people leading change

I also found members who are keen to be ‘Connectors’. This is a new informal role within Q, for members who love connecting people and ideas across boundaries (and who can help push the boundaries of what’s possible for all of us). I’ll be sharing more about Connectors in the coming weeks, and inviting volunteers.

Overall, it was an engaging event, with many opportunities for learning and connecting – all wrapped up with networking drinks at the end.

Follow Q on Twitter: @theQCommunity
Follow Matthew: @MatthewMezey

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