As quality improvers, we are fortunate to work with clinicians, managers, policymakers, researchers, patients and carers every day to design and deliver new services. We see many of the services are stretched, to say the least, as they cope with growing demands, complex needs and increasing expectations. Hard-pressed people talk of clunky processes, inappropriate referrals, variable practice, unreliable equipment, perverse incentives. Solutions for these and other problems rarely present themselves without support, and importantly without fresh perspective. At times like these, Einstein’s commonly referred to advice resonates with us: We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them
It’s often helpful to step back from the day job, to see and hear about different approaches, and to reflect on how we might bring about a change of thinking. One way Q members can do this this is to “go and see” – visiting different environments, organisations or acquiring new skills in varied settings.
Understanding how important such “go and see” visits could be, we were delighted to be awarded the task of organising a programme of visits for Q members. We have carefully designed a programme that will stretch thinking, grow skills and help members apply fresh approaches into your own improvement environment. Over the next two years, we will be delivering 20 visits – ranging from large-scale open days, to immersive visits, study days and skills workshops – providing insights and opportunities to support members in their roles and within their networks. The visits are made free to members.
It is important to ensure those who can’t attend can still experience learning from the visits. Over the next few months we will be trialling different ways of achieving this – whether it is through live blogs, Twitter chats or members actively sharing with the wider community.
Through these visits we explore how other organisations remain focused on their service users, how they work with complexity and how they build the relational skills required to improve services. Our aspiration is that members will bring those insights back for the benefit of their own organisation as well as the wider Q community.
Places will be limited, so please don’t delay in registering your interest.
Peter Dudgeon and Emma Adams are co-founders of the Health Transformation Partnership. They are working with the Health Foundation to design and deliver a series of visits for Q.