Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust are now in their second year of LiA adoption. So far they have had an incredible 79 Staff Conversations involving more than 2000 staff, all with a focus on improving their services and patient care.
Their focus as a Year 2 LiA Beacon Trust, is on 'raising the bar' in terms of rapid spread of the LiA way of working, and moving ‘faster to outcomes’ to improve quality and safety of care, the patient experience, and the way in which they enable and 'unblock the way' for frontline staff.
A key success factor is ensuring that every LiA team includes a rich mix of all the right people, coming together across the usual boundaries. This connects people, unlocks new ideas, and builds a sense of shared ownership for making the changes they want to see. There is no 'project team' waiting in the wings - it is the people in the room who have it in their gift to make it happen.
Getting clinicians - especially consultants - involved and securing their buy-in to influence change in their specialty areas is therefore key. Typically though, this group of staff are harder to engage with and ‘get in the same room’ - partly because they have 'been there, done that' (or think they have!) and are cynical about the value, and partly because of their clinical time commitments. But the extra effort needed to win them over is always worth it - they quickly overcome their cynicism as they link up with other key influencers and together drive forward changes they have often wanted to see for a long time, for the benefit of their patients.
At Pennine Acute, getting the Consultants on board was proving to be a challenge, but the tenacity of the LiA Lead, Julie Owen, and Chief Executive John Saxby overcame this. An event in January, co-hosted by the Chief Executive and the new Medical Director Rob Davies to build buy in to LiA, was attended by almost 100 Consultants.
Julie takes up the story:
“We started organising the event in November so that doctors had plenty of notice. The main thing was that the Chief Exec gave permission for clinical sessions to be moved to other days or cancelled. A massive advertising campaign was put in place and over 300 personal invitations went out directly from the Chief Exec. In addition, the LiA team visited over 50 lead Consultants and discussed the event on a 1-1 basis to gain support. We also met with Divisional Directors and Clinical Directors to get their support.
This background work paid dividends - there were 98 Consultants in attendance!! This is a fantastic, unprecedented response, and all of them got involved in the discussion which was hosted by John Saxby, the Chief Exec, and supported by Rob Davies, our new Medical Director. They were asked what gets in the way of them giving the best care for patients and their families. They were also asked what one thing they would throw onto a 'bonfire of bureaucracy', and we got some fantastic responses”.
The attendees had the chance to feedback their thoughts on the event:
“Empowered to make suggestions”
“A bit fired up especially about the 'bonfire of bureaucracy'”
“Interested, engaged, more positive”
“Energised and enthusiastic to make changes and hopeful we will now see action”
“Good to see engagement with senior clinicians”.
The outcome of this event has been the willingness of clinicians from a diverse variety of disciplines across the Trust to lead LiA teams and take action to make change. Julie sums up by saying:
“We have had 19 Consultants who have asked to form their own teams following the event, which I see as an absolutely cast iron endorsement for LiA. They will have 1-1 coaching sessions and support to ensure we keep the momentum going”.