Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust started adoption of Listening into Action (LiA) in April 2016. They have a fantastic and very enthusiastic LiA Sponsor Group mostly comprising clinical staff, plus Chief Executive Richard Kirby, and have started their journey to lead a 'fundamental shift' at the Trust.
In May, they launched their first 10 LiA Clinical Teams in alignment with patient care priorities (watch out for their stories in 20 weeks' time!), and this week they held the first of five LiA Big Conversations to engage staff from across the Trust around 'what gets in their' way, and 'changes that would make the biggest difference'.
Dr Esther Waterhouse, Consultant in Palliative Medicine and an enthusiastic member of the newly formed LiA Sponsor Group has blogged this week about her experience of Listening into Action (LiA) so far...
""Would you be on the Sponsor Group for Listening into Action?" I was asked one day, in a corridor conversation. I knew a little bit about the new way of working that LiA embodies, and thought it looked interesting, and I agreed. A few weeks later, my work life is already very different, much more rewarding and much more fun!
So, what makes LiA different? It is aiming for a culture shift of staff involvement and of getting things out of the way that block us doing our job - now! The Sponsor Group meets every 2 weeks, not the usual monthly or bi-monthly. It is a quick and focussed meeting, decisions are made and actions decided upon. There is laughter and even cheering! Talking to fellow sponsors - via our WhatsApp group! - we are all enjoying it, one wrote, "I have laughed more in the last few weeks than I have in the last 4 years" Another said "I'm having a tough time at the moment. If it wasn't for the fun I have at work, I would be off sick". So one difference - we're allowed, even encouraged, to have fun. Consequently, of course, we all work harder!
What else is different about LiA? Well, it's got me Tweeting (@bryarsEB, @WalsallLiA) I'm engaging with people all over the country - some are ahead of us in their LiA Journey, others are just interested. We're sharing ideas and thoughts, stimulating each other and helping me to think that 'YES! We can do this' A quote from Twitter last night "Walsall Healthcare is full of stars. They just need to believe in themselves to shine" (written by our fantastic LiA Lead, Tom Johnson @TomJohnsonLiA) Who wouldn't smile reading that?
What else is different? LiA has got me laughing, thinking outside the box and engaging with Twitter. But most importantly, it's got me talking to people in a different way. I invited a secretary to an LiA Big Conversation. She asked, suspiciously "Why do you want to hear from me?". My answer was, "Because your voice matters". Her smile told me all I needed to know. People are coming in on days off to join the LiA Big Conversations. In some areas, staff are emailing Sponsors asking to be involved. Quick Wins (things we can just 'do') are starting to happen. This is real staff engagement. It feels different. It feels punchy. It feels great!
So, if you're reading this, wondering what it's all about, and what it's got to do with you, the answer is that it's about everything! It's about patients, their families and very much about staff. Come and join the party - it's great fun and going great places!"