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I am a new member of Q, passionate about QI and work as a senior service improvement lead in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland. Having had some experience of the endoscopy scheduling process, my attention was drawn to the Q visit in Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Their workshop was about discussing the approaches they took to dramatically improve and sustain endoscopy planning and administration.

OK – so logistics first! The first Q meeting for Northern Ireland was in Belfast the day after the Bournemouth workshop, and I could not miss that! So the plan was to fly from Belfast to Southampton and get the train to Bournemouth the day before the workshop. Then fly back to Belfast after the workshop to be home in time for the Northern Ireland Q Welcome Event.

At the Bournemouth workshop Peter Dudgeon and his colleagues were very engaging and welcoming. For an “ice breaker” he asked us to view the room as a map of Britain and for everyone to stand relative to where they were based. As the only person from NI, I told everyone I would probably have to stand out in the corridor!

The workshop itself was interesting with discussions on how to use Excel spreadsheets as decision algorithms to speed up the processing of complicated referrals. Peter also shared how they use “one page problem solving” to test and implement change ideas.
I made a few valuable networking contacts but unfortunately couldn’t hang around – I had a plane to catch back to Belfast!

The Q Welcome Event was held in Titanic Belfast – an impressive piece of architecture sitting alongside the massive shipbuilding cranes Samson and Goliath.
This was an all day event with interesting speakers, presentations and break out sessions. Penny Pereira gave a enthusiastic presentation on the Health Foundation and Q and you could feel her passion – and I thought to myself “whatever coffee she is on – I want some!”

Again, it was great to network and meet new people. Maire Grattan who is a life and leadership coach presented at one of the breakout sessions. During the session she encouraged us in an interactive activity to “share our personal window” with each other – as it is always important to emotionally connect. After the session I discussed the concept of motivational interviewing (MI) with Maire and how MI techniques can be used by change agents to reduce resistance. Again, this was a great networking opportunity to share ideas.

Reflecting on my ‘whirlwind’ two days of Q, it was intense, it was inspiring, it was a chance to meet new people, it was a chance to learn and develop, and that is the purpose of Q!

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