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 »

Jan 292014
 
Mike Davidge

Mike Davidge

It’s very difficult to empty a bath without pulling out the plug, especially if the taps are still on.

That’s a useful analogy to bear in mind when we are thinking about the pressures on A&E departments, particularly as we head into winter with the dreaded ‘winter pressures’.

But would you be surprised to know that demand for A&E services doesn’t vary much with seasons and certainly doesn’t spike in the winter? So, where do all those delays come from? Continue reading »

Jan 072014
 
Mike Davidge

Mike Davidge

Research suggests that as little as 8% of people are successful in their New Year’s Resolutions. So how can you be the one in twelve that do?  The trick is to phrase your resolution an as achievable target, with a clear aim.

For example, which of these is most likely to get results?

1. I’m going to lose some weight

2. I’m going to lose 6 pounds by March 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 »

Dec 172013
 
Dr Alan Willson

Dr Alan Willson

Every year I am inspired by the level and creativity of the work that is entered into the NHS Wales Awards.

The projects are diverse, covering many areas of healthcare and sometimes challenge the status quo and the accepted ways of doing things.

But all are driven by one aim; to improve the quality of patient care and experience.

Delivering quality improvement is vital to ensuring our NHS services are sustainable and meet the needs of patients. Continue reading »

Dec 162013
 
Mike Spencer

Mike Spencer

Here’s a challenge. How do we best make sure patients get person-centred care at a time when resources in the whole of the public sector are being stretched? Part of the answer lies in co-production, something that is currently being widely talked about in Wales.

 If a part of the healthcare system is outdated, cluttered, or simply not providing person-centred care, among the first to notice this will be patients. When we’re working within an already established system, it can sometimes be hard to see how things could be done differently.

Continue reading »

Jan 312013
 
Jan Davies

Jan Davies

I recently heard nurse lecturer Austin Thomas speak about his experience of 30 operations after barely surviving a near-fatal road accident. His verdict was that many people working in the NHS say that the patient is the most important person. But when you are a patient it doesn’t feel that way.

How can we change the way we deliver services to ensure they genuinely meet the needs of the people who use them? Listening to patients is one way that seems so obvious, but we don’t always have a good track record of doing this. Maybe it’s the fear of only hearing one point of view, which may not be enough to build a service on – but hearing one voice has to better than hearing none at all. Continue reading »