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Walking our way through COVID: Using QITALKTIME Podcast series

The QITalkTime Podcast will capture personal stories of people who work in and use our health services regarding QI, making conversations available through a podcast connecting a growing QITalktime community

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  • Proposal
  • 2020

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

Covid-19 has created disconnect and changes to ways of working. Connecting people (staff and service users), and sharing personal experiences virtually through podcasts can accommodate these remote working restrictions. Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular as a more accessible, agile method for sharing stories, perspectives and learning.

Narrative medicine is associated with desirable outcomes, including “relationship-building, empathy, perspective-taking/reflection, resilience and burnout detection/mitigation, confidence/personal accomplishment, narrative competence, and ethical inquiry.” Strengthening such competencies is essential, especially as COVID rages. Paradoxically, COVID has resulted in many substantive improvements; however,  many of these stories are not captured, or if they have been documented, often lack as Mary Dixon Woods has pointed out, the necessary contextual factors essential to success.

Combining a narrative medicine programme with the recording of podcasts will strengthen the Ireland and Northern Ireland healthcare systems learning of what worked during the pandemic and critically the key success factors to build upon.

What does your project aim to achieve?

BHAG: To advance quality throughout 2 health and social care systems (Ireland and N. Ireland)

AIM: The QITalkTime Podcast series aims to capture the personal stories of people who work in and use 2 health & Social care services  (Ireland and N. Ireland) using QI thinking, narrative medicine methodology, learning from COVID-19 and QI Learning systems and the application of the framework for improving quality through the delivery of regular podcast episodes through a new platform.

These stories will aim to identify not just areas of improvement to care, but critically, the local and national contextual and social elements of success. This may help to identify health inequalities. A further aim will be to test ways of training and scaling up training in Narrative Medicine to enable effective story telling.

This will build on the foundation of an existing brand and followership of the QITalktime network and the growing All Ireland QI Network.

How will the project be delivered?

  • Entirely virtual
  • Project team is active and made up of members of National QI Team and HSCQI in the application
  • We hope to link with external partners for e.g. National Media sources, University students in media and internationally renowned Podcast series.
  • Theming the first series around Integrating experiences and COVID – 19 learning whilst linking to the Framework for improving quality and QI Learning systems. For example; Covid as the context, QI as the conversation (using framework drivers).Positively including experiences of people who work in or  access health and social care services in the series,.
  • Involvement and tapping into existing Q membership in both health systems
  • The grant will be used to support the narrative medicine training, podcast training, digital training and personnel required. This will enable the project and leaving a legacy of people who could continue this work.

How is your project going to share learning?

·         By hosting meaningful conversations about QI work and the people behind the work

·         By Improving quality of health and social care delivery using QI thinking, methodology and application of the framework for improving quality

·         By connecting and engaging with newer audiences both those employed in and service users of our health and social care services across the UK and Ireland.

·         24-hour independent access to content anytime, any place, anywhere. Podcast would be available to listen to by all members of Q

·         Building on the existing QI TalkTime community and the expanding all Ireland Q network

·         By developing  an archive a repository of QI stories easily accessible retrospectively

– The training in podcast development and Narrative medicine of a number of QI staff HSE and HSCQI should allow dissemination of learning and succession planning to enable sustainability.

How you can contribute

  • We would love to hear from anyone else who has tried and tested something similar.

Plan timeline

1 Sep 2020 Establish Project Group, assign key roles & complete Project Charter
14 Sep 2020 Agree proposal at HSE QI and HSCQI management teams
20 Oct 2020 Submit proposal for Q exchange funding
30 Dec 2020 Complete Stakeholder analysis with internal and external partners
8 Mar 2021 Investigate and agree on training provider for Narrative medcine
8 Mar 2021 Investigate and agree on training provider for podcast development/support
8 Mar 2021 Recruit project management/ Evaluation support
15 Mar 2021 Run training for staff/service users in Podcast & narrative medicine
22 Mar 2021 Source and purchase equipment needed.
29 Mar 2021 Develop and finalise podcast design e.g episode design/ host guide
29 Mar 2021 Finalise branding and communication plan
12 Apr 2021 Run a number of PDSAs to test platform and content
26 Apr 2021 Finalise schedule of podcasts for recording and begin recording
24 May 2021 Launch Podcast availability of series 1 and advertising campaign
25 May 2021 Continued evaluation - Qualitative and Quantitative Listeners/training/those involved in delivery
12 Jul 2021 Complete an evaluation report on series one and publlish
16 Aug 2021 Start recording series 2 based on learning from series one


  1. Dear Peter

    Thank you for your excellent feedback and suggestion.  This set us up for a great conversation with Dr. David Vaughan and team.  This gave us the opportunity to refine our proposal and incorporate narrative medicine within our approach

    Best wishes


  2. Hi Roisin,

    Myself and my colleague Emma Adams (Health Transformation Partnership) are supporting the Health Foundation this year by fostering conversations between Q members and encouraging collaboration. We were Exchange applicants last year, so we’re hoping that our experience will help us to help others, as their ideas take shape.

    I really like your idea of Podcast as a method of sharing and learning - a really powerful tool. Having read through this idea and 'Harnessing learning from staff experiences of QI during COVID-19', it seems to me that there are further opportunities to describe connections between the two projects, in that these Podcasts seem like a perfect vehicle for sharing the learning from the other project. I see that Maureen is a member of both teams, so I guess it would be easy to nurture those connections and describe them on this idea.

    Best of luck with your idea, and if I find opportunities to help you connect with others working in a similar sphere, I certainly will.

    All the best,


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