Meet the team: Time Bank and Skills Exchange
Consultant Paediatician Senior Lecturer in Healthcare Management and Leadership,
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
- England - West Midlands
Head of Quality Improvement (London Region)
- England - National
- Northern Ireland
- England - Kent, Surrey and Sussex
- England - London (East, North and Essex)
- England - London (South)
- England - London (West)
Professor in Primary Care
- England - South West
- Alastair Williamson
- Bobbie Petford
- Kuldeep Singh
- Karen Ritchie
We’re delighted to have been shortlisted and to be in the final 25, but we’re not resting on our laurels. We want to be in the best position to pitch to you at the Q Community event in September and this idea to be a success. Our vision is that this idea is eventually owned by, and adds value to the Improvement Community.
With an eye to QI methodology, we have therefore established our aims (see attached logic model) and designed tests of change, in collaboration with our supporters and partner Timebank UK. We now invite you, as early adopters to test out the model.
- Click here to register an account on our prototype platform: https://tol2.timebanking.org/qcommunity/Account/Register (note: we only need the email address – the other details can be made up!)
- Once you have an account please click on ‘Offers/Requests’
- Click ‘Create New’ and post some experimental exchanges onto the forum:
- Remember – we’re just testing at this stage. They don’t need to be real exchanges but it would be useful to see the sort of stuff our Q members might want to use the platform for. You’ll see we’ve started posting already!
- You will see a screen that looks like this:
- Select the drop down menus that are appropriate for describing your post, and put the expiry date for long you want the post to be valid for. You can add the number of hours that will be banked for the work, and detail the number of posts available for people to apply for. Then click ‘create offer’ and your post will be added to the forum.
- You can then even click on other people’s posts and test the messaging service by accepting their requests.
- We want feedback on the functionality of the site, what works and what doesn’t. We want your improvement ideas and we want to know the areas we should focus on for development. If we successfully win the Health Foundation grant money in September we will use it to develop a shiny new platform with a web company so that it does everything the community wants it to do – in a way that works for us! You are also welcome to join us in the further design after September.
- When you register we will send you a surveymonkey form to help feedback to us your user experience.
Please also help us to increase the amount of user feedback we receive by sending this brief to any Q members you know who may be interested.
At our first project meeting , we agreed our first step is to test a rudimentary platform as a project team. We’ll run “virtual exchanges to establish “must haves” for this to work and for rigorous evaluation- PDSA 1!
We also learnt that since a national agreement in 2015, all NHS Employees can have 3 paid day per year to volunteer!
Q members are asking for ways in which they can contribute to the network and add value to themselves, their organisations and their community.
Some want to see improvement work in other organisations first hand and learn by doing, understanding and connecting. When they have spare time through the fluxes of a salaried role, they are seeking a process to support other teams whilst challenging themselves.
Others have ad hoc demand for skills which are uniquely available in the Q network. They are seeking a way of sourcing those, skills, energy and expertise and using it to ignite programmes in their own organisations. Thie Q Community Time Bank is a cheap and elegant solution to help address both of these areas within Q. It is an idea in which the sum exceeds the parts and hence grows the community in a practical way.
The Time Bank idea was first proposed at the 2017 annual Q event in Liverpool and followed up with learning from time banks in public services which have united disenfranchised communities. We have then seen success in small scale pilots across the Q Community that have left members inspired, better resourced and equipped with new ideas. These have subsequently contributed to successful bids for funding for further programmes.
We believe this is an idea whose time has come.
It is needed by the community and can work at organisational, regional or national levels. It costs very little whilst giving a currency for skills underlined by the simple premise of reciprocity, or “Give an hour, Get one back.”
What might this look like in practice?
Example A – ‘straight swap’
An AHSN requires a senior guest speaker to be keynote at a collaborative event. Provider ‘A’ sends an executive. Months later provider ‘A’ needs an advisor to review their improvement strategy and the AHSN fulfills their obligation.
Example B – ‘forward it on’
Member ‘A’ needs a facilitator to coach a clinical team for 5 days in a rapid improvement event. Member ‘B’ offers a coach and covers the work. Months later member ‘B’ requests a patient leader to contribute to some improvement workshops with staff, but member A does not have the required resource. Member ‘C’ steps in and offers a skilled patient leader to provider ‘B’.
Q Community Time Bank is based on 7 universal principles.
- Money is not exchanged
- Exchanges are for improvement work
- Exchanges are equitable, not made on the basis of somebody’s ‘worth’. Ie member ‘A’s time is not necessarily worth more than member ‘B’s.
- Support is exchanged around a system
- Time is banked against an organisation, not an individual
- The exchange belongs to the community, not the product or tool of an organisation
- Community members want to do good improvement work, not drain a free resource.
This Q Community Time Bank will benefit the system by
- Offering a free alternative to expensive day-rate improvement resource, by connecting the demands and capacity of our members
- Also allowing patient representatives to find opportunities to join in improvement work
- Giving our members rewarding opportunities to share their skills, develop themselves and widen their network (our market research on time banks shows this to be a major benefit)
- Being available to all members, regardless of profession or background or pay grade.
- Being a self-sustaining platform – steered by the community and increasing our connectivity
- Providing practical opportunities to share learning and skills across traditional boundaries, ie primary, secondary, provider, regulator, commissioner, etc
- To steer the healthcare community towards collaboration
The platform will be designed to have the functionality to measure time being banked between members and the quantity of improvement projects being created
Benefits for the Q community
Giving time to and connect people within a community has a remarkable effect in improving well-being, preventing burnout and building community cohesion as described in this TEDx. It is an asset-based enterprise and works through several of the “5 ways to well-being”:
The Q Community Time Bank will immediately give Q members and their host organisations a free platform to interact and exchange their time around improvement, for both their professional development and to help improvement projects. Our exchanges could include:
- Mentoring and coaching
- Delivering presentations
- QI/ Patient Safety advice
- Data analysis and evaluation
- Workshop facilitation
- Sharing resources such as rooms
- Unused conference/workshop places
- Peer review
- Support pathway development
- Diversity of perspectives (eg. from service users)
The time banked will “belong” to the Q Member but if you wish, you can pass this on to your organisation, which can therefore withdraw against it.
Process measures will be directly collected from the Time bank software and include numbers of:
- individuals who pledge to contribute to the Time Bank,
- requests for support posted
- hours banked
In addition, qualitative assessments of ease of use of the programme will be collected prospectively over the course of the year to inform the service design and thereby allow improvements in the design.
Outcome measure will be determined through engagement with the various stakeholders, including the Health Foundation, Q Time Bankers and their host organisations to establish a measure of SROI. Through details of participants job roles, it will also be possible to calculate the value of Time Bankers’ time had they been employed to do the work and hence determine the wealth generated.
- Cumulative monetary equivalence of time exchanged
- Social Return on Investment (SROI)
In addition, qualitative understanding of learning, connectivity to the Q Community and sense of self-worth will be collected through individual narratives over the course of the year.
How you can contribute
- Join the bank, give an hour and get one back over the summer
- Help evaluate your experience and outcomes to rapidly adapt the process using QI principles
- Meet (and celebrate?!) at the 20th anniversary Timebanking conference in September 5th/6th: https://www.timebanking.org/2018-conference/
Time banking logic model (PDF, 135KB)
This is a great project because…
It's clearly attracted a lot of interest from members of the Q community. The ability to put a bit of structure around the process of peer exchange could potentially help enhance what can be achieved through Q.
By the time of the event we encourage the project team to think more about…
The practicalities and governance issues associated with making this work and how this would interface with the Q infrastructure. How could an initial pilot help us learn more about likely uptake and the implications for employing organisations?