We know from international learning the value and importance of developing a common improvement language. This helps us to communicate within NHS Wales about how we can make real, worthwhile and lasting change happen.
And that’s the point of Improving Quality Together: making worthwhile changes. Often, changing the little niggles people have every day, which they feel is stopping them doing their job properly, can make a huge difference. It can free up staff time, and make the system we work in a lot more effective and efficient.
But we also need to know that the change we’re making is a worthwhile one, so Improving Quality Together helps us to think about how we test these ideas for change on a small scale before going bigger.
We are learning that we all have two jobs – the day job, and improving the day job. And these improvements are about creating win-win situations: Making our jobs more satisfying, and, importantly, making the care our patients are getting that bit better.
So far over 3,500 people in NHS Wales have completed IQT Bronze, including two of our Chief Executives, Andrew Goodall and Bob Hudson. A good step towards our aim of 20,000 by March next year, but still a long way to go!
Putting patients at the centre of all this is the most important thing. That’s what they did at Hywel Dda Health Board, where patients were engaged in changing how they found their way around a hospital. Working together led to this simple, clever solution to make hospital signage more effective and easier for patients and visitors to follow.
Applying IQT learning can help us to properly measure the effect of change in our place of work, something which Nurse Helen Dinham found out when applying her learning to reducing the risk of surgical site infections at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.
Improving Quality Together gives frontline staff the skills to go into their own department and say, “I can make this improvement.” And it also creates a common language for people to help them share ideas, test them, and scale them up. It’s a new language for NHS Wales.
Jan Davies is one of the directors of 1000 Lives Plus
Are you ready to start Improving Quality Together?