On the evening of the 19th June, seven excited improvement facilitators set off from Stansted to Gothenburg, Sweden to attend the International Forum for Quality and Safety in Healthcare. Representing improvement in NELFT across nursing and AHPs, we were excited to learn and absorb innovative ideas about ways we could encourage teams across the whole of NELFT to adopt and express continuous improvement.
We were immensely proud that two of our group had posters accepted and were presenting their own improvement projects to the forum. Rhiannon Haag (Clinical Lead Speech and Language Therapist) presented about “Pandemic innovation in laryngectomy: Bringing the hospital home” and Divya Narasimhan (Pulmonary Rehabilitation Physiotherapist) presented about “Virtual pulmonary rehabilitation – a new era of working.” Amazing work!
The forum did not disappoint, and we came home inspired and ready to share our learning. We also came home with seven exceptionally beautiful flower garlands as it was Midsomer in Sweden while we were visiting. It would have been rude not to have joined in the fun!
These are few inspirational thoughts of our improvement facilitators:
Rhiannaon Haag, NELFT Clinical Lead Speech and Language Therapist
"My name is Rhiannon Haag and I am Clinical Lead Speech and Language Therapist. My specialty is in working with patients following head and neck cancer, including people who have undergone a laryngectomy. I first completed QI facilitator training in 2017, followed by mentor training and membership of the Q Community. As a team, we have worked hard to embed QI as our ‘business as usual’. This meant that when the pandemic started, we viewed the challenges we were facing through both a clinical and a QI lens. We worked to incorporate QI methodology into our rapid changes and collected data to evidence our achievements and any unintended consequences of change. As a result, we were able to share our data and experiences easily at national level, have been supported to write our data up for publication, and were ultimately invited to submit our project for presentation at the BMJ Quality conference in Gothenburg 2022. This conference was an excellent opportunity to raise our profile as a trust and team, and to learn in more detail and gather ideas about how we can better use our QI skills in the future. I would like to thank the NELFT QI team for supporting us so generously."
Shola Philip, NELFT Clinical Lead
"Gothenburg was a bit of fresh air for me. Team NELFT was good and fun to be with. We gel and worked together. Oh my Gosh…the walking evening exercise, definitely needed that. I needed a push for physical activities and keeping fit. Gothenburg delivered that and gave me that confident. Thank you for that extra push.
Thank you for the privilege to be part of the leader who will “ create tomorrow today” . It was very educative, informative and inspiring conference. It was good to hear how other countries /organisation responded to the pandemic and their recovery process. It was also interesting to hear that shortage of staff, staff burnout, emotional wellbeing and impact on workforce and service delivery is a national issue.
The networking and interaction with delegates from other countries was great. I am also delighted to hear for the 1st time putting workforce/staff at the centre of care, encouraging us to look after our health and emotional welling being to be able to deliver that 1st class and quality service.
I have passion for quality improvement, and by attending Gothenburg it as even taking it to another level. I am on fire for QI and I am now encouraging my team/service to think of area we can improve on. It was such a privilege to be appointed and sponsored by NEFLT Quality Improvement Services. My signing up to the apprenticeship training gave me the platform to be recognised and supported to attend the conference.
QI team is great in developing and releasing potential…as long as you show passion and ready to take on the challenge, QI team will offer support. This was evident with my discussion with Clare Linger. She saw my passion and all the hard work I put into apprenticeship training and the idea of project I am currently working on. She encouraged me to enrol for QI facilitators training and I am pleased to say that I have signed up and will be starting this month. Thanks QI team for this great experience and opportunity. Thank You Andrea for marking this happened."
We would encourage everyone who has an improvement idea to contact QI@nelft.nhs.uk and we can support you with training or mentoring. You never know it might lead to a visit to an international conference!