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What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to your chosen theme?

Health & social care are being delivered in challenging economic conditions. With shortages across sectors in trained & untrained staff, care is often delivered in difficult circumstances. We want to create the conditions that support staff to give their best & find joy & fulfilment in their work. Working in a psychologically safe, just culture is well recognised as important but inconsistently present. Compassion in care leads to better outcomes across sectors & compassionate interventions reduce stress in care givers. Concentrating on joy in work, understanding what matters to people & removing  impediments to work contributes to staff resilience. Learning from excellence, appreciating work increases safety & staff feeling valued.

Our collaborative will take the evidence & scale this up across the SW ensuring that organisational leaders & frontline staff understand this. so that  staff work in the safest cultures, delivering the most compassionate safe care & experience joy in work.

What does your project aim to achieve?


1. Ensure a wide understanding of the evidence base. This includes the importance of the psychological safe and just culture required to deliver safest practice and innovation. This will lead to the understanding that compassionate care delivers better outcomes for patients, reduced costs for providers and a reduction in stress to care givers. Prevention of burnout in our staff and supporting them to enjoy their work requires us all to focus on what matters to staff, what gets in the way of their work and equipping them with the tools to make changes themselves.

2. Within a breakthrough collaborative model we will share best evidence and support staff to use the methodology to test, try and then share their ideas amongst within teams, organisations and across our sector.

3. This focus on staff will help us achieve the excellence in care we aspire to here in the SW. This work will support us to attract and retain the best workforce working in the best conditions.

How will the project be delivered?

We have already identified an expert faculty who work regionally and nationally in these areas and have demonstrated a willingness to explore and develop this programme of work. The faculty is from across our geography and across health and social care.

We will continue to use our Q colleagues widely to scope the evidence to support this work.

When this work is scoped, we will design & deliver 3 x 1 day events in the SW to bring leaders and frontline staff to share this information. They will develop change ideas within their own organisations/across organisations using the quality improvement methodologies already used within the SW..

These ideas will be tested and the outcomes shared in learning events.

We will be creating an infrastructure to support our teams will be supported between learning sets. This will be delivered by our project faculty.

There will be a final celebration event to share all of our success and learning and consider next steps.

What and how is your project going to share learning throughout?

The breakthrough collaborative model in itself will share learning between all our participants. We will use a variety of methods to share. These will include large and small group presentations, world cafes, and storyboards. This is a well established model. We have successfully been sharing ideas and learning using this methodology in the South of England Safety Improvement Collaborative for the last 10 years.

As we share our work, we see this project using a grass roots spread model as staff get excited about what they are achieving.

We will use the South West Academic Science network communications to share learning. There will also be reporting lines into our 3 STPs ensuring senior leadership are engaged.

We will also have close links with the 3 STPs in our area who will be fully engaged through the design and delivery phases of this work and will use their publications and networks to share learning.

At a national level, we will share our work through conferences and publications.

How you can contribute

  • 1.we would be very keen to have direct feedback as to how to improve the proposal.
  • 2.we would also like to hear from others who have similar projects so that we might connect and learn together.
  • 3.Our programme goes across health and social care, I am clearly not an expert in the social care area so would value feedback from colleagues working in this area.
  • 4. Going forward we can already see synergies between the psychology of improvement project and the joy in work project going forward.

Plan timeline

11 Jan 2019 Request for expressions of interest in Collaborative
30 Nov 2019 Finalise Core faculty
13 Dec 2019 Invite Scoping Group for Evidence Base for Breakthrough Coll
29 Feb 2020 Scoping Group Work Complete
3 Mar 2020 Collaborative participants identified and invited
31 May 2020 First collaborative event complete
30 Sep 2020 2nd Collaborative event completed
30 Nov 2020 Final Collab and Celebration Event
31 Dec 2020 Report to STPs/learning & shared through SWAHSN comms


  1. Dear Helen and Matt, Great idea! Have you seen the psychology of improvement idea? I wonder if there is a way of aligning or joining up somehow? I am a part of that group and I’m sure others like me would welcome a discussion.

    take care

    best wishes


    1. Hi Helen,


      Great proposal. Such important areas to focus on and a fabulous suggested approach (process) to this work.


      I look forward to hearing and seeing how this goes.


      Like Anna, I am part of the Psychology 4 Improvement group and I am sure others like us would welcome a discussion.


      Best wishes,



  2. Thanks very much for your idea and taking the time to share it with me!


    Kind regards


  3. You might also want to think about a "helpline" to help an individual build up their confidence in their idea or improvement they have though of.   It would provide that reassurance of challenge at just the right time.

    It could help signpost them to others or sources of what also works.

    For me it can be as important to press on, and together with your ideas the helpline could encourage individuals to do so.

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