Apr 012015
 
Mike Spencer

Mike Spencer

Health literacy is more than just being able to read and understand information about health or health services. It is about understanding what services are available and how they can help if something is wrong.

Recently Richard Osborne and Alison Beauchamp visited Wales from Victoria, Australia, to talk about their experience of developing methods to improve the understanding, access to and utilisation of health information and health services by everyone, especially those who are most vulnerable.

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Nov 182014
 

 

Dr Ruth Hussey MBE

Dr Ruth Hussey OBE

Redesigning Healthcare – Learning from the Nuka system of care to inform the development of healthcare in NHS Wales is the latest white from 1000 Lives Improvement which is being launched today at the NHS Wales National Learning Event in Swansea. There are some very important lessons for us to learn from it about how we involve people in the design and delivery of care.

The Nuka System of Care developed by Southcentral Foundation in Alaska is recognised as one of the most successful and innovative primary care systems in the world. Its success is down to a pioneering community-led model of ‘customer-ownership’, in which users provide regular feedback to inform the development of services that more effectively meet their needs.

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Nov 182014
 
Dr Alan Willson

Dr Alan Willson

I agree with the aims of prudent healthcare – I have yet to find anyone who doesn’t.

While the pre-election arms race between Westminster politicians is about promising extra money for the NHS, how much more useful to ask how we are spending what we have. When we ask that, like health systems all over the world, we find we could do much better AND that the result could be better care.

The more interesting question is “how?”. As Richard Bohmer says in his book Designing Care: “the work of care and the operating systems that support that work must be explicitly designed for that purpose and not just left to accrete by chance and happenstance”.

My recent experience of cardiac care at Morriston Hospital showed how a well defined pathway allows the many providers and individual receivers of care to play their part. Porters, cardiologists, A&E staff, nurses, technicians, GPs and physiotherapists were all confident and expert enough to support one another, take a pride in their contribution and to ensure that my experience was one of prudent healthcare.

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Apr 222014
 
Dr Simon Noble

Dr Simon Noble

62% of people in Wales believe that air travel is the main cause of blood clots, according to research we worked on for the Ask about Clots campaign. And it’s a damaging misconception – because there is a far greater risk of develop a clot when in hospital.

In fact, you are 1000 times more likely to develop a clot during or in the 90 days following hospital treatment. That’s why the misconception is a fatal one, because blood clots can cost lives.

Through my work with Lifeblood, we’ve tried to raise awareness that blood clots are the most common cause of preventable hospital deaths. And the more people know about clots, the more likely it is we’ll be able to prevent them.

Ask about Clots Infographic 3 Parts Continue reading »

Mar 032014
 

A member of our student community, Ilaria Pignatelli, is the Campaign Manager for Ask One Question. She tells us about their simple pledge for NHS Change Day.

Ilaria Pignatelli

Ilaria Pignatelli

We ask a lot of questions through medical school. History taking and skills practice bring up some valid questions, but are we always asking the right ones?

The thought of visiting hospital can be a scary and unpleasant experience for many patients, so after asking all the routine questions; why not ask: “What can I do to improve your stay?”

The Ask One Question campaign is doing just that. It’s a world-wide, student-led healthcare improvement initiative, encouraging students to ask their patients: “What can I do to improve your stay?” and, when possible, act on their requests. It was started by students in Cardiff who have already gained recognition outside of Wales.1, 2 Continue reading »

Feb 252014
 

Marc Franklin reflects on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s National Forum in Florida, and thinks about some of the lessons he left with.

Joshua Kovoor, Dr Andy Carson-Stevens, Marc Franklin, Don Berwick, Gney Mehta, Amy Butlin, Hope Ward, and Beth McIldowie at the IHI Open School Congress

Above: Joshua Kovoor, Dr Andy Carson-Stevens, Marc Franklin, Don Berwick, Gney Mehta, Amy Butlin, Hope Ward, and Beth McIldowie at the IHI Open School Congress

Just before Christmas, along with  five other members of the 1000 Lives Student and Educator Community and the Cardiff Medics Student-Patient Chapter, I headed for Orlando, Florida to attend the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 25th Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Healthcare. We boarded the plane excited to join over 5000 other delegates, and join the discussion on patient safety and quality improvement.

We began by attending the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School Chapter Congress, along with many of the Forum’s other student delegates from universities around the world. Don Berwick (President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the IHI), who led the Congress, emphasised the importance of students approaching healthcare systems with “fresh eyes”, and the significance of students’ position as the future of healthcare.

We were then set the modest task of saving the NHS £1 billion! We worked together to put forward a suggestion for quality improvement – our idea was  moving away from the use of non-essential sterile swabs when cannulating a patient, toward the use of cheaper, non-sterile swabs. This was an idea which had the potential to make real savings, and it shows that a small change has the possibility of making a big impact. Continue reading »

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 »

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.

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Nov 112013
 
Dr Alan Willson

Dr Alan Willson

There is much talk of ‘co-production’ in public services these days. The idea is that if you allow the people who use the service at least an equal role in designing and managing it, you end up with a much better service.

This is a change of mindset which relies on professionals letting go some control and learning new skills.

But as the recently launched nocturnal home renal dialysis service in Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABMUHB) shows, this approach really can be better than the way we usually work. Continue reading »