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What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

Burnout is increasingly recognised as a threat to staff wellbeing and patient safety; the rates of burnout depression and suicide are higher amongst healthcare workers, especially physicians than the general population. It is likely that COVID will exacerbate these threats. Coaching has been associated with improved staff wellbeing and retention. A recent pilot study from the Mayo Clinic reported substantial reductions in emotional exhaustion (20% reduction), burnout (17% reduction), as well as improved resilience and quality of life. However effective coaching is resource intensive. Team coaching may reduce the cost while enhancing the effectiveness of the intervention.

Organisations have identified the need to support staff; often the interventions provided start from the premise that health care workers “lack” resilience. Coaching, similar to the precepts of Learning from Excellence seeks to draw on individuals intrinsic strengths to enhance their resilience.

What does your project aim to achieve?


Develop a coaching programme for healthcare teams across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (and in particular members of the Q community) that will

  1. Strengthen their resilience, quality of life, work life balance and joy in work
  2. Reduce symptoms of emotional exhaustion and burnout
  3. Increase their ability and confidence in leading quality improvement initiatives in their place of work by enhancing their own inner strengths
  4. Rigorously evaluate the outcomes and attempt to determine the key success factors
  5. Provide feedback to relevant organisations as to the effectiveness and cost benefits of coaching interventions

How will the project be delivered?

All coaching will be delivered virtually.

Experienced executive coaches will deliver 5 coaching sessions to teams over 4 months. Each session will last one hour. The initial session will focus on creating the relationship, assessing needs, identifying values, and setting goals. Subsequent sessions will follow the same general structure: (1) check in, debrief strategic action the participant had taken since the last session, manage progress, and review accountability; (2) plan and set goals; (3) design actions to incorporate into daily life; (4) commit to next steps; and (5) check out and summarise.

The following measures to evaluate effectiveness will be captured.

  1. Burnout
  2. Quality of Life
  3. Resilience
  4. Job Satisfaction
  5. Evidence of effectiveness of any QI interventions (if undertaken)
  6. Qualitative assessment of experience
  7. Economic evaluation of cost-benefits

The main risks – inability to complete coaching due to work pressure; this will be mitigated by making explicit the commitment at the outset and obtaining line manager sign off and commitment.

How is your project going to share learning?

  1. Formal evaluation (see previous section); to date only one study has been undertaken therefore the results (positive or negative will be informative)
  2. Word of mouth recommendation from participants on social media, the Q website and similar resources
  3. Presentation of results to relevant professional (Royal Colleges), regulators (Medical Council) and healthcare leaders
  4. Presentation at conferences and publication of the results and outcomes
  5. Use results to seek formal research funding to measure effectiveness

How you can contribute

  • Constructive feedback
  • Expressions of interest about being coached from teams
  • Ideas on what areas coaching might focus on

Plan timeline

4 Jan 2021 Establish Steering and Project Group
1 Feb 2021 Identify suitable coaches
1 Mar 2021 Identify programme manager
1 Mar 2021 Seek interest from Q community & others for inclusion in training
17 Mar 2021 Procure coaching time
1 Apr 2021 Select teams for coaching & line manager commitment
6 Apr 2021 Pre intervention evaluation
30 Apr 2021 Coaching session 1
21 May 2021 Coaching session 2
10 Jun 2021 Coaching session 3
8 Jul 2021 Coaching session 4
27 Jul 2021 Coaching session 5
10 Aug 2021 Post intervention evaluation
30 Sep 2021 Final evaluation report and dissemination

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