NHS England’s Chief Digital Officer, Juliet Bauer, examines achievements so far, such as developing patient facing tools and outlines plans for the future.
In the spring NHS England will plan to publish guidance to help local organisations ensure that systems they develop or commission, to bring together patients’ information in one place and known as a Personal Health Record, are as high quality and connectable as possible.
They will also release an early version of an NHS digital services manual drawing together new and existing design and development tools guidance, and begin initial testing of a single system for verifying the identity of those requesting access to digital health records and services.
NHS England are also building an open and connectable platform that will make it easy for innovative developers to plug their technology in to our single, joined up NHS app, and start making a difference to patients. The app will be live by the end of the year.
It’s clear that NHS England programmes are already having an impact on patients, helping them conveniently access the NHS and discover the very best advice and support so that they can care for themselves too.
Their role is to help these developments go further, faster so that we constantly improve the care and experience we offer patients.
There is also a new road map for digital health and care services which shows what has already been achieved and sets out time frames for future improvements.
Further information is available from the blog post here
Case study looking at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s approach to quality improvement.
Part of our series focusing on staff involvement for quality improvement, the case study looks at how Ashford and St Peter’s has used innovative staff involvement techniques to help all staff improve quality of patient care. Beginning as an initiative solely for medical staff engagement, it has now been adopted across the organisation.
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.
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
NHS Employers has published Making it better: staff engagement for quality improvement. This case study highlights work that the Sheffield Teaching Hospital has undertaken on staff engagement as part of its programme of quality improvement, such as the collaborative development of the Sheffield Microsystems Coaching Academy, Listening into Action groups and the creation of trust values. The case study also highlights the benefits the organisation has seen as part of its ‘Making it Better’ transformation programme.
This briefing makes the case for quality improvement to be at the heart of local plans for redesigning NHS services. It does this by drawing on existing literature and examples from within the NHS of where quality has been improved and describing how this was done
The King’s Fund has previously highlighted the fact that addressing waste and variability in clinical work can create better value in the NHS. But what does value mean to people working in the NHS – and how it is being applied in practice? | The King’s Fund Blog
‘Value’ sounds like a familiar concept but it can mean different things to different people. One definition of value in the health and care sector is ‘health outcomes per dollar spent’, so attempts to increase value can look at either improving quality or reducing cost.
In early July we held a roundtable discussion with health service providers to better understand their approach to value improvement – initial research for a new project intended to understand the practical barriers and challenges that frontline clinical, operational and managerial leaders have encountered in pursuing better value health care. Experts who attended – including a chairman, chief executive, chief nurse, deputy chief operating officer, change leader, and representatives of national bodies – agreed that the emphasis should be on patient care. Clinicians are more likely to engage in a programme that revolves around the quality of services, and better care is typically less wasteful, so as one participant put it, ‘if you focus on quality, money will fall out’ [spending will reduce]. Consultants will often drive through successful programmes with change management teams, but we also discussed the role of junior doctors, nurses and therapists, who frequently witness low-value care and understand how to fix it. We know that substantial changes in practice can be delivered as we have seen, for example, in generic prescribing, reduced length of stay and the move towards day case surgery.
Read the full blog post here
NHS Employers has published Staff involvement, quality improvement and staff engagement: the missing links.
This briefing aims to help managers and leaders understand more about how involving staff with quality improvement initiatives can have a significant impact on staff engagement levels.
Involving staff in quality improvement decision-making, planning and delivery has always been a good idea. However, at a time of unprecedented pressures and financial challenges it is an issue of the highest importance.
This new briefing explores the benefits, approaches and working examples of how organisations are involving staff with their quality improvement activities.
Read more about staff engagement initiatives across the NHS here.