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Microsystems Coaching Academy (MCA): Q Visit to Sheffield

This study day was designed for Q members who have a role in building capability and capacity for quality improvement within or amongst organisations. Members were able to bring colleagues to maximise the practical application of ideas and approaches within their own organisation or networks.

7 Jun 2017


Sheffield Hallam University

Q members visited Sheffield Microsystems Academy to undertake a “deep dive” into how they had developed capability and capacity for quality improvement across Sheffield. Dr Tom Downes explained how, through collaboration with the Dartmouth Institute, they focused on developing microsystems coaching within health care. Microsystems are the building blocks of the health care system – the small functional frontline units that provide most care to most people.

After Tom talked shared their coaching experience from 170 staff over 7 years, Steve Harrison provided more detail on how microsystems coaching was delivered. Their approach consists of three elements:

  • Team Coaching
  • Improvement Science
  • Active involvement of the microsystem.

Q members quizzed Tom, Steve and their colleagues on how they had grown the Academy and spread their approach to other partners within the local health and care system. Q members were also given a short talk by Margie Godfrey of the Dartmouth Institute about their work on relational and leadership challenges. She urged Q members to be “hard on the process, soft on the people”, keeping balance between the technical and humanistic aspects of quality improvement.

The day ended with reflections on learning that could be translated back to Q members’ organisations. “Absolutely loved the pace, intensity & mix of small-table and presentation. Thank you!”

This was CPD certified – please contact the team for your certificate.