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Q members gathered in July for an open and compassionate conversation about the ongoing challenges they face as we begin to turn from pandemic response to creating a sustainable health and care service. In this blog, one attendee, Sam, shares her experience at the session. Community Space is a new bi-monthly event for Q members to renew connections, learn and collaborate. Read more about the first workshop and be sure to book your place for the next Community Space.


While I originally came into my career through research, my focus has turned to joining up the policy and quality elements of emergency care. An example of this during the pandemic was the work myself and my team at the Royal College of Emergency Medicine did to encourage NHS emergency departments to provide PPE for all ED staff, including security, porters, cleaning staff and clinicians. This meant that all individuals involved in caring for patients – both clinical and non clinical – were offered PPE.

Community Space is special in its ability to create that sense of acceptance of vulnerability and openness.

As a Q member, I’m interested in hearing about shared experiences and being connected to a diverse group of people that are all united by their shared belief in embracing new improvement approaches. I think I had, without realising it, been feeling a sense of disconnection from the Q community and the stimulation and connection that it provides. It’s really important to have a space where people can come to share their ideas, but also to feel welcomed and encouraged to share their challenges. Community Space is special in its ability to create that sense of acceptance of vulnerability and openness.

One of my challenges as a quality lead for improving emergency medical care for patients is finding ways of learning how to incorporate the human factor in all aspects of care. I found the presentation at Community Space on Gamification of Human Factors really helpful and will be looking at ways of adapting that tool for my own work. I also think that the Improvers Without Borders project that was shared gave members a reminder about how we use jargon in our work, and to try to be mindful of the fact that not everyone understands certain language. Sometimes it is more useful to just ask people for their ideas and be open to listening. We can express this very simply by inviting them to share their knowledge and help to design a way of implementing and measuring the effect, as a way of helping us know if it is working. That’s a much more inviting way to get people involved, particularly where patients and members of the public are involved.

Book your place for the next Community Space workshop, taking place Thursday, 23 September 2021.

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