I am proud to work in the NHS and proud to be part of public services in Wales. However, I also realise we are in an environment that expects change, improvement and delivery.This means we need to do a number of things:
- Genuinely put patients first, even when the system can feel it’s working against this
- Simplify complex areas and experiences
- Do ‘the basics’ exceptionally
- Create time for people to be trained and informed – there is a tangible reward for staff taking part in training
- Engage with staff, particularly as the size and breadth of NHS Wales organisations can leave staff feeling disconnected
- Be open if we have a problem
There are plenty of barriers to improvement – but instead of talking about the negatives, we need to focus on the things we can do. We need to find ways in which we can immediately influence changes in our practice and behaviour, but with results and outcomes.
Improvement is an area where it is possible for us to train and pass on the tools and methodologies. This is what we are looking to crank up in Wales with Improving Quality Together
As a health board Chief Executive, I believe in being genuinely committed to empowering our staff across the organisation to do both good things and the right things without needing instruction or intervention from above.
I also want to use the right language myself when it comes to improvement. That’s why I have done the bronze level of IQT. I like the fact that it is flexible, as that allowed me to commit the time to finish it. Now I’ve done IQT bronze (and got the certificate!) I can tell everyone else in my organisation that they need to do it too.
I see the IQT approach as fundamentally a way of challenging culture in our organisations. This should be about us showing it is core business, and a key skill right from the top. It’s about demonstrating a commitment to supporting those who think differently and are open to new methodologies
I was really interested at the NHS Wales Awards to see two of my own staff speaking about Silver IQT and their reflections on doing the training and applying it to practical areas. I took a very firm message from that – IQT works and makes a difference to both attitude and results. Now I would like to see the roll out of IQT creating the tipping point for our organisation to act differently but also as a routine, rather than the tip of an initiative.