Feb 202014
 
Paul Gimson

Paul Gimson

Imagine what a primary care service might look like if we gave the patients the money and asked them to design it themselves. This was the story I heard recently at a presentation given by the Southcentral Foundation, a citizen-owned health-service provider based in Anchorage, Alaska.

The presentation was at a recent event in Cardiff looking at Southcentral Foundation’s Nuka system of primary care. It’s ‘A customer-owner driven overhaul of a bureaucratic system centrally controlled, to one in which the local people are in control.’ It is the use of this term customer-owner which is one of the most striking features of the Nuka system.

The idea of a patient as a customer might feel wrong in the context of the NHS, but in this case the term represented a shift from a service designed around a medical model to one where the patient’s needs were put first. The provocative question for us is, if we considered patients as customers would that improve the experience of being a patient in NHS Wales? Continue reading »

Jul 192013
 
Helen Birtwhistle

Helen Birtwhistle

When I listened to some of the hugely innovative work that was honoured in the recent NHS Wales Awards, it struck me that out of austerity can come opportunity.

I know that these are tough financial times for the NHS, with savings expected year on year, but it does make us examine what we are doing more closely and at all levels.

This is a time to work smarter and to make the best use of the resources we do have to deliver the best possible care to patients wherever they are in Wales. Continue reading »

Apr 302013
 
Iain Roberts

Iain Roberts

I didn’t anticipate a lecture about innovation would feature nineteenth century fine art.

I recently attended lecture by Geoff Mulgan, hosted by the University of South Wales.  Geoff is the CEO, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.  He was speaking in Cardiff on ‘Can public services change fast enough’. 

He referred to the famous painting, ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ by J.M.W. Turner (1839). For those who may not recall it, the painting shows HMS Temeraire, a 98-gun wooden ship, which played a distinguished role in the Battle of Trafalgar, being towed in 1838 by a paddle-wheel steam tug on its last journey to Rotherhithe where it would be broken up. Continue reading »

Mar 152013
 
Dr Alan Willson

Dr Alan Willson

Several people will be on their way from Wales to the BMJ/IHI International Forum in London next month. While there they’ll see innovation and best practice from around the world. It’s an opportunity to meet experts in quality improvement and patient safety and bring new knowledge back to Wales.

I’ve recently been reflecting on the ideas and examples I heard at the IHI National Forum last December. Here are five (and a half) lessons I learned, recognising a huge debt to Brent James and others who willingly shared their presentations with me so I could fully get to grips with what they were saying. Continue reading »

Mar 012013
 
Dominique Bird

Dominique Bird

Recently my family had some bad news. The worst news you ever want to hear from a doctor. And unfortunately, since first receiving this news, we have had to chase referrals, appointments and seek out information at every stage of that pathway. 

I know this isn’t the experience all patients have, but what struck me was that the responses from all our enquiries showed the same thing. Each of those members of staff I spoke to knew there were problems in the system, but didn’t feel that they had the skills, authority or responsibility to do anything about it. Continue reading »

Feb 082013
 
Tim Heywood

Tim Heywood

If you work in NHS Wales, I hope by now you’ve been asked to “have your say” in the staff survey. The need for the NHS to be honest with itself, as well as with patients and the public, has been very topical this week. Taking part in the survey is one way we can all start to do that.

I’ve been helping with planning for the survey to ensure the questions reflect how patient safety, staff experience and service user experience are all linked. A recent Kings Fund report quoted research that “happy staff make happy patients”. Continue reading »