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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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 »

Oct 212013
 
Jan Davies

Jan Davies

I’m so impressed with the work Aneurin Bevan Health Board is doing to put the patient at the centre of care and plan services to meet their needs.Staff are using a fictitional patient called Megan to help drive an improvement campaign aimed at reducing hospital bed days by 100,000.

Megan is a patient in the NHS, she could be any member of any family and she gives a human face to staff as they aim to improve care and quality of services.

The idea is that by seeing things through Megan’s eyes, staff can identify gaps in the systems and provide more person centred care. 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 »

Jun 122013
 
Jan Davies

Jan Davies

It may be that the language we use to describe issues of poor quality hide their damaging effects. Maybe ‘suboptimal outcomes’ doesn’t sound that bad. But hearing a woman talk about how she felt she had to fight to get the right care for her mother and that despite her best efforts, she feels that she failed her, casts those ‘quality issues’ in a new light. 

At our latest 1000 Lives Plus learning session, I presented five videos and chaired a discussion about quality issues. The videos told Betsan’s story – of trying to get the right care for her elderly mother. They provide an important insight from a family perspective to many of the problems we discuss every day. Continue reading »

Jun 072013
 
Mike Spencer

Mike Spencer

As we launch The Listening Organisation, the latest white paper from 1000 Lives Plus, our hope is that it will help NHS Wales organisations explore ways to listen to patients and the public and use what they hear to help create the best services possible. But this will mean approaching how we ‘listen’ in a new way.

My eldest daughter is currently undertaking a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages (MFL). As someone who has always struggled to make sense of anything other than Yorkshire English, I marvel at anyone who can speak four languages and is passionate enough to want to teach others! But what really interests me are the parallels between some of the perceived good practice used to help MFL learners and what we have included in the white paper. Continue reading »