Mar 122015
 
Angela Williams

Angela Williams

Wow, what a sense of achievement! On February 5 2015, I was handed my certificate for the completion of my Improving Quality Together (IQT) Silver project. Yes I am one of those 10,291 participants who’ve done the IQT Bronze award, completing it a couple of years ago and I’ve now been able to go that extra step forward by completing my IQT Silver.

 

So what was my project?

As the title of this blog suggests, the aim was to increase the number of times student nurses contributed to ‘academic’ online discussions. I have an interest in e-learning and the reason I chose this topic area was to explore how the use of technology can further enhance teaching and learning.

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Jan 082015
 
Dominique Bird

Dominique Bird

We have passed a significant milestone in Improving Quality Together (IQT). Over 10,000 NHS Wales staff have completed IQT Bronze, the introductory level of the training programme.

The total is actually 10,168 staff – which is around one in seven of the approximately 70,000 staff working in NHS Wales as a whole – who have completed the programme online, with more doing the training in local session organised by health boards.

This means IQT has become a common language of improvement spoken right across Wales, by staff in all disciplines and departments.

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Dec 182014
 
Sarah Puntoni

Sarah Puntoni

Like you, the title of this blog is a sentence I never thought I’d be saying, but, in a roundabout sort of way, it turns out that Mr Potato Head can teach us a thing or two about applying PDSA cycles.

Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at the reasons why, starting from the beginning.

I first came across the idea of using Mr Potato Head for PDSA cycles when discussing different exercises used by our Improving Quality Together (IQT) leads.

So, last week it was my turn to get Mr Potato Head out of his cardboard box for the session I was leading on person-centred care with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screeners. The task? For groups to assemble him mirroring the image in front of them, which you can see below.

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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.

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Nov 062014
 
Alison Eardley

Alison Eardley

Here’s Alison Eardley giving us another take on our #IQTHEI event earlier in the year. You can read more posts about this event from Angela and Laura, and see a full Storify round up of the event on Twitter here.

Earlier this year, I attended the 1000 Lives Improvement Educators in Improvement event; bringing together ideas, learning experiences, successes and challenges faced whilst attempting to use the improvement process. The aim was for us all to learn from one another, harvest best practices and share ideas, and I certainly did.

Dr. Tricia Woodhead opened the day, speaking of her experience of working with medical trainees to learn, develop and use improvement methodology within clinical practice, to enhance the quality of patient care, teamwork and individual practice.  Posing the questions ‘How can things be better?’ and ‘How can we do this together?’ The key thing I took away from the talk was how important it is to lay the foundations before embarking on any project.  Dr Woodhead made several suggestions on how this might be achieved.  Primarily it involves containing the original enthusiasm to jump straight into changing things and  instead taking time early on to firmly establish how and what the group will do to ensure successful implementation of a consistent approach.

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Mar 032014
 
Dominique Bird

Dominique Bird

One year ago we launched Improving Quality Together, a training opportunity that gives staff ownership when it comes to quality improvement in NHS Wales.

A year on, 5752 NHS Wales Staff have completed the Bronze Level of the training, helping us all work towards a common language for quality improvement.

And why are we working towards an even higher staff uptake? Because a common language of quality improvement in NHS Wales benefits staff and patients alike. Continue reading »

Feb 032014
 
Dr Alan Willson

Dr Alan Willson

Trying to understand how we improve is not as complicated as you may think at first.

There are basically two ways of doing it. One is through radical changes, large-scale change efforts that often deliver great results, but require a lot of effort.

The other is through small, almost imperceptible, incremental changes, which build up one on top of each other, shaping the system gradually into a very different shape.

But what if we combined the two? Continue reading »

Jan 132014
 
Jan Davies

Jan Davies

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. Continue reading »

Jan 012014
 
Dr Alan Willson

Dr Alan Willson

Happy New Year! And welcome to #IQT2014. New Year’s Resolutions are often about small changes that make a big difference. That’s why we’re dedicating the first two weeks of 2014 to Improving Quality Together, to encourage NHS Wales staff to put “Make a start on IQT Bronze” on their New Year’s Resolutions list.

Improving Quality Together is the national learning programme for all NHS Wales staff and contractors. It provides a common language and consistent approach to improving the quality of services in NHS organisations across Wales.

Over 3,500 individuals completed IQT in 2013 – and if you haven’t taken part yet, over the next two weeks, we’ll be showing you the benefits IQT Bronze can make for you, your workload, and, most importantly, your patients. Continue reading »

Dec 192013
 
Sian Bolton

Sian Bolton

The impact of poverty and inequality in our society is clearly seen in the field of healthcare. There is a significant difference in the life expectancy of the most deprived and least deprived people in our society – over a decade in some areas.

One factor in this is healthcare provision. Services in more deprived areas tend to be less effective in identifying illness and helping people look after their health, than those services in less deprived areas. This is known as the ‘inverse care law’.

The inverse care law is based on work done here in Wales by Dr Julian Tudor-Hart back in the 1960s that looked at inequities in health care. He noted that the most deprived people with the most health needs were the ones who least accessed services from a health point of view. Continue reading »