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How can QI be used to facilitate Away Days

The QI team have facilitated many away day’s this year across NELFT and received feedback in how useful application of QI methodology has been. The following provides an outline of what participants can anticipate during one of these sessions. 

Redbridge Community Health & Social Care Therapy Team away day 

The aim of the day was to support the team in ‘improving communication and teamwork.’ The team began to review their values and ethos by using the NELFT Civility & Respect handbook from the Just & Compassionate Culture work. We then used the What Matters To You framework and conversation guide, from the IHI White Paper – Joy in Work, to work through the ‘pebbles and boulders’ hindering effective teamworking. The team then went on to devise their own driver diagram – a useful QI tool that can help you to break down your improvement aims to identify what changes need to be made. Lastly it was looked at how using PDSA cycles with some of the change ideas could help the team to test what worked best, without making big disruptions, until they found the right improvement to implement. 

The team felt that by using QI to structure the day, they yielded the following benefits:  

  • A very clear structure 

  • Identify what was issues and changes that the team could control (pebbles) and what needed wider input (boulders) 

  • The Tools were interactive, giving everyone opportunity to have their input. 

  • Give practical examples on how to make improvement, with a great use of driver diagrams to help breakdown the problem. 

  • A safe space to be open and honest.  

Here is some feedback from one of the managers from the away day: 

“It was lovely to finally locate Chrissie and Patrick after desperately looking on NELFT intranet for a team that could help us. We felt the facilitation was spot on and the analysis both of you gave about our team not having major issues & only individual pebbles to deal with gave us both the confidence to continue speaking with individuals and call things out as we see it professionally and respectfully. It was also nice for us as managers to sit back, observe and get involved, as it took the pressure off.  

We found the reminder about PDSA and civility behaviours useful as this is something we can be proactive in implementing and sharing with the team. I think this will be the difference and value we can measure in the months to come on things we will implement as team! 

Thank you both so much, once again!” 

Team feedback highlights tangible benefits, including clear structure, differentiation between controllable issues and broader input, interactive tools, practical examples, and the establishment of a safe space for communication. Senior leadership feedback reflects the value derived from the away day but also outlines next steps from the away day to help with focusing on continuous improvement. Overall, this is a good example on the impact of QI methodologies in fostering a culture of improvement, collaboration, and continuous learning

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