How and why did you first get involved in improvement and what has your journey been since?
Quality Improvement has been a constant thread through my nursing career. I have always had a focus on people development as well as service improvement. My first taste of true QI was when I helped to develop Protected Mealtimes as part of a team at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust in 2003, something we won an NHS Estates Award for. This gave me a taste for QI that has followed me into my work in Community Hospitals across clinical and managerial posts and also in my work as a Committee Member for the Community Hospitals Association with the lead for Innovation and Best Practice.
What most inspires you professionally?
Firstly, patient-centred care that is holistic, evidence-based, dynamic and responsive to the community it serves. Throughout my time working in Community Hospitals I have been involved in lots of improvement projects some as small as buying special crockery to improve the experience of relatives of dying patients and introducing Safety Huddles through to service redesign. Many of these took place in Community Hospital settings and all were rooted in improving patient safety, patient outcomes and patient experience.
Secondly, I love innovation and leading on this area for the Community Hospitals Association has allowed me to experience just how innovative, creative and practical Community Hospitals teams can be. Never has it been more apparent than during the judging of our 2020 Awards in December. The quality of work and the positive impact on patients of the work submitted in spite of a pandemic was humbling.
What change could we make that would do most to embed continuous improvement in health and care?
While many organisations have QI Teams, staff themselves in their daily work often don’t recognise that they are undertaking quality improvement activity. Within the Community Hospitals Association we strive to share good practice examples from Community Hospitals, promote networking and connecting those working on common issues.
Community Hospitals are diverse in their location, service models and the communities they serve.
We want to help those who work in or are interested in Community Hospitals to share who they are, what they do, what makes them unique and how they could contribute to their communities and health and social care systems. We want to encourage them to share their quality improvement journeys telling the stories of what works well and not so well and connecting staff to maximise learning and sharing.
Community Hospitals are diverse in their locations, service models and the communities they serve. We want to use QI and sharing their stories to help demonstrate the value they add and their potential post COVID-19.
Why did you join Q?
Jo Habben, a colleague, was part of a group that worked with Q on a project around learning from Serious Incidents. She suggested I join and since I have been a member I have really benefitted from connections within Q as well as the resources available.
Can you tell us about something you’re currently working on that Q members might be able to contribute to?
Our successful Q Exchange bid to explore ‘Embedding Covid-19 positive impact changes through shared learning‘ is starting to take shape. We have set up a Community Hospitals Special Interest Group for members to contribute to and share learning from this project which aims to describe, support and promote ways of working developed during COVID-19 through shared learning across the network of Community Hospitals in the UK. We will bring together members who want to explore their experiences, look at measures of quality, discuss continual and sustainable quality improvements, and who have an aim to facilitate spread and adoption of good practice. The role of the group will widen once the study is complete. We know that others have great practice and this group will be a great way of sharing knowledge and experience (and pinching with pride!).
Join the Community Hospitals Special Interest Group to find out more and join the conversation.