Quality improvement

Establishing quality improvement approaches which actually work has much to do with suitable leadership and organisational culture, according to a new King’s Fund report.

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This report explores the factors that have helped organisations to launch a quality improvement strategy and sustain a focus on quality improvement. It identifies three common themes for successfully launching a quality improvement strategy: having a clear rationale; ensuring staff are ready for change; understanding the implications for the organisation’s leadership team in terms of style and role.

The report finds that NHS leaders play a key role in creating the right conditions for
quality improvement. Leaders need to engage with staff, empower frontline teams to
develop solutions, and ensure that there is an appropriate infrastructure in place to
support staff and spread learning.

Full reference: Jabbal, J| Embedding a culture of quality improvement | Kings Fund

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Quality improvement

Making the case for quality improvement: lessons for NHS boards and leaders | The King’s Fund | The Health Foundation

This briefing outlines the following ten lessons for NHS leaders which provide a starting point for those seeking to embed quality improvement in their work:

  • Make quality improvement a leadership priority for boards.
  • Share responsibility for quality improvement with leaders at all levels.
  • Don’t look for magic bullets or quick fixes.
  • Develop the skills and capabilities for improvement.
  • Have a consistent and coherent approach to quality improvement.
  • Use data effectively.
  • Focus on relationships and culture.
  • Enable and support frontline staff to engage in quality improvement.
  • Involve patients, service users and carers.
  • Work as a system.

The briefing makes the case for quality improvement to be at the heart of local plans for redesigning NHS services.

Full report available here

National Engagement Service

The National Engagement Service (NES) has developed an infographic to promote understanding of the service.

Including useful statistics and helpful information about the work of the team, the infographic explains how the service supports senior leaders on workforce issues, in order to drive up organisational effectiveness and the quality of care for patients. Delivering engagement across the country through regional networks by:

  • connecting with HR directors to share best practice and learning
  • ensuring that stakeholders are kept up to date on current issues and key developments
  • highlighting opportunities where stakeholders can influence and shape policy
  • stimulate discussion and innovation among HR professionals.

 

 

NHS trust board good governance maturity matrix

The NHS trust board good governance maturity matrix is designed to help NHS trust boards to self-assess whether they are achieving the expected desirable outcomes of good governance practice. | Good Governance Institute

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There are a number of ways this matrix can be used by NHS organisations:

  • as an assessment tool to agree current status
  • as a developmental tool at a board development workshop, whereby members of the board could ‘vote’ where they felt the trust is on the matrix and then, through a facilitated discussion, agree a group decision about current scorings and developmental aspiration within a given timeframe
  • as a benchmarking tool to enable the comparison of NHS organisations and to identify examples of good practice that other NHS trusts could learn from

The Maturity Matrix can be downloaded here

Women and leadership – (still) more to do

Despite the advances of recent years, two recent reports, Women in finance and Women on boards: 50:50 by 2020, once again draw attention to the problems women still face in obtaining senior leadership positions within the NHS and outside it | The King’s Fund

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Women in finance is about fairness, equality and inclusion for women and men. It is predicated on a desire for gender parity and a balanced workforce because, as the evidence makes clear, this improves culture, behaviour, outcomes, profitability and productivity. However, the current situation in the financial services sector is quite different; more women than men start out in financial services but many women fail to move up the management scale. This leaves almost all the top jobs in the hands of men. The main reason for this, it appears, is organisational culture.

One study conducted in 2016 across a wide range of employment sectors found that unsupportive workplace cultures still present the most significant barrier to career progress for women. Amazingly this was the case for female respondents in the 20-29 age group as well as for older respondents. Gender inequality and discrimination were reported, as were difficult colleagues and managers, bullying, undervalued work, and women feeling that they have to over-perform simply because they are female. Recommendations following this study included building closer relationships between men and women in the workplace, and the provision of opportunities to discuss gender issues experienced within the organisational culture.

Driving improvement: case studies from eight NHS trusts

Reviewing the culture of NHS trusts and addressing disconnects between clinicians and managers within the organisation is key to improving care, a new CQC report has revealed. | Care Quality Commission | via National Health Executive

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The CQC has published ‘Driving improvement: case studies from eight NHS trusts’.

The document examines how a number of different trusts improved care and subsequently their CQC rating by making simple changes to how services were run.

During its study, the inspectorate found that engaging with staff and allowing for open and honest conversations was vital to making improvements to care delivery.

The CQC also discovered that successful trusts tended to make their chief executives and senior staff more visible by having them spend more time on the ‘shop floor’ – meeting staff and setting up regular channels of communication. The report also highlights the increasing challenges faced by trusts.

Read more at National Health Executive

Full report: ‘Driving improvement: case studies from eight NHS trusts’.

Leading Across The Health And Care System: Lessons From Experience

This paper offers those who are leading new systems of care some guidance on how to address the challenges they face| The King’s Fund

Leading health

Image source: The King’s Fund

As the NHS seeks to move away from competition towards integration and to develop new models of care, individuals and organisations across the health and care system need to learn to work together to make the best use of collective skills and knowledge.

Part of our Leadership in action series, this paper offers those who are leading new systems of care some guidance on how to address the challenges they face. It draws on the Fund’s work on the development of new care models, sustainability and transformation plans, and accountable care organisations. It is also informed by the experience of people who have occupied system leadership roles and draws on case studies from our research and organisational development work.

Read the full report here