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The huge potential of involvement in the Q community for improving health and social care across the UK and Ireland came across strongly at our event to celebrate one year of Q in Ireland on 17 June.

The potential is massive in this community.

Since applications for Q Ireland members opened in May 2020, 68 improvers have joined the Q community. Our virtual event, hosted by the HSE National QI team with support from Q, welcomed about 70 people to celebrate our achievements so far and explore the full potential of being an active Q member.

Dr Philip Crowley, National Director of the Quality Improvement Team at the Health Service Executive in Ireland, opened and closed this year’s event recognising the power of Q.

“The potential is massive in this community… We can have our own community within the community which will bring new ideas to the Q community, as well as learn from it, so I think Ireland can contribute a lot to this,” he said.

“We’re often criticised for learning something, cracking something or improving something and not sharing it enough with others around our own system and outside our system and this is a structured way of doing that.”

Dr Crowley had been instrumental in bringing Ireland on board with Q, working with Q Initiative Director Penny Pereira to announce the partnership in February 2020.

A wealth of learning and contacts

Tracey White, Communication and Engagement Lead for the Health and Social Care QI Network in Northern Ireland, talked about what membership meant to her and the networks, tools and techniques she’d been able to access since becoming a member of Q.

She said, “I would urge you to look at Q membership if you are interested in expanding your connections and QI learning. You, your team and your organisation will benefit.”

Breakout groups enabled attendees to learn how, as members, they can be actively involved with the Q community through Special Interest Groups (SIGs), the Q Exchange funding programme, the Communities of Practice leadership programme and a set of collaboration tools under the banner of Liberating Structures. They also heard about how to connect through Ireland’s network map, which is due to launch in September.

Opportunities to connect

We were especially pleased that attendees were made up of roughly half non-members and half Q members, who buddied up so non-members could be supported to navigate the Q application process and get the most out of Q.

It rejuvenated me after what has been a very tough year personally and professionally.

Attendees were also encouraged to take part in Q’s Random coffee trials – 30 minute informal chats with one other Q member as a way to meet fellow improvers, share improvement journeys and grow individual’s networks.

Finally, they heard about a new series of workshops, community space, bringing members together across Q to understand the needs of staff and services around recovery following the peaks of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first of these workshops is coming up on 22 July.

A real buzz

Feedback on the day was overwhelmingly positive, with comments including:

“Such an uplifting 90 minutes so much piled in but still never felt rushed really enjoyed it” – Denise Boulter

“Newly inspired to engage properly with Q community opportunities, great to meet some people and see faces” – Rachael MacDonnell

“Concise information and breakout discussion, great session thank you!” – Veronica Hanlon

The event came after a tough year for services in Ireland following the peaks of the COVID-19 pandemic and a cyber attack on our systems.

Deidre Lang, Director of Nursing/National Lead Older Persons Services, Clinical and Integrated Programmes at Dr Steeven’s Hospital in Dublin not only found the event rejuvenating but has already taken action on creating a special interest group (SIG), in consultation with her community.

She said, “Thank you and Q community for a wonderful celebration event. I really enjoyed it and it rejuvenated me after what has been a very tough year personally and professionally. I learned so much on the day and it spurred me on to looking at setting up a SIG in frailty. To that end I put out a testing tweet to see if there is an appetite for it and it has caused quite a stir. It’s made 37k impressions so far…I am so excited!”

Our growing community across all Ireland is excited about the contributions we can make to Q, as well as what we can gain. As Dr Philip Crowley said in his closing statement:

“Let’s keep working together to create this movement and really start trying to get a health service that’s genuinely focused on improvement…A service right across the system, from the bottom up, built on people’s own ideas, people’s innovation…Everybody can improve and everybody can become a member of this quality improvement movement.”

Connect with Maureen or Caroline to find out more about Q in Ireland and if you’re not already a member, join Q. Twitter users can find us @mapflynn and @LennonNally.

Resources

Watch the video from the event.
Find out more about Liberating Structures.

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