Dec 022014


Emma Thomas

Emma Thomas

Emma Thomas shares her thoughts on Improving Quality Together, examining how we can all be inspired by some of the improvement projects already carried out across Wales.

The session at our 1000 Lives National Learning Event in Swansea asked delegates to share their Improving Quality Together (IQT) stories, hopefully inspiring and empowering others to take back learning from the projects to their teams and highlight the possibilities that IQT offers for improvements in the workplace. We had great representation from NHS Wales staff and students alike, which provided a recipe for interesting discussion.

Esther Philpott, from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board spoke about how she worked with her team to reduce the delay in discharge summaries process to GPs.  The CRT Rapid Response nursing team used the IQT Silver methodology to improve communication between themselves and the GPs they shared their patient care with. Discussion centred around how simple changes can be made with a team approach without a need for additional funding.

Angela Williams described doing an IQT Silver improvement project as ‘the icing on the cake’. Her initial aim was to increase student nurse engagement with small group Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) online learning activities. Angela highlighted that the importance of measurement is essential, and we talked about how questions like ‘How am I going to measure the change?, Am I sure it’s a problem? How will I measure and what will I count?’ were all key to ensuring the right changes were made and that time is a huge influencing factor.

Angela also spoke on why a collegiate approach had been beneficial; sharing, team work reconstruction and application. As an educator, she said that completing a project, as a student, helped her understand her students’ needs when asked to complete improvement projects, which she has blogged more about here.

The session also heard from Ashley Gould from Public Health Wales, who spoke about a smoking cessation improvement project that he worked on in Cwm Taf and how the small cycles of change had really made a difference when larger change programmes had overwhelmed the staff.

It was really interesting to discuss how Improving Quality Together provides us with a structure for making changes, but also how sharing these stories gives us a whole additional side to improvement.

IQT allows us to consider how we go about developing a culture where people will be able to give their best and won’t be cynical about the possibilities that are open to them.  Finding these stories and sharing them is a great way to create that positivity. Gradually, the stories that are being told that represent the possibility to change, show how lots of small changes can make a difference and come together to create a change in our environment.

So how do we create the conditions where they want to tell the great stories? How do we support people to make these small changes and how do we get people to understand that every small change is worth making?  It’s sessions like these that help start the conversations that we want people to take back to their organisations.

Were you at our #1000Lives National Learning Event in Swansea? Tell us what you took away from the day in the comments below.


Emma Thomas is the 1000 Lives Improvement Improving Quality Together lead for Higher Education.

Join the conversation,  follow us on Twitter @1000LivesPlus.

Want to know more about Improving Quality Together? Visit the IQT website.

  One Response to “We can all be inspired by improvement projects in Wales”

  1. Well done Wales again. following the recent 2 Top Awards for their CHAaT initiative which the Gwent Branch of the National Health Service Retirement Fellowship (see website anything which will improve the quality o service from the present day NHS involving care from “cradle to the grave” we would endorse.

    We are a registered charity with approx 170 branches and 17,000 members throughout the U.K. We provide social activities, education, confierences, branch monthly meetings and escorted holidays particularly popular with retirees from any discipline who have been employed by the NHS or contracted to work for the NHS.

    I am privileged to be the National President, who retired after 42 years multi disciplined service in the NHS from 1948. !!!

    Ethel Armstrong.

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