Over the past year, The Rotherham NHS FT have started adoption of LiA as a way of working to help engage with and unblock the way for colleagues. After a year of learning they are now taking this to a whole new level, using LiA to connect people around some of the most important opportunities to improve patient care.
Those Trusts that avidly follow the LiA way of working – which gradually embeds as ‘the way we do things around here’ – are seeing remarkable results: a wealth of big impact changes to the quality and safety of patient care, 20-55% increase in how engaged and valued colleagues feel, and a corresponding improvement in patient feedback.
Most importantly, LiA is about improving patient care, but in a way that is led by the teams themselves, with the full backing of the Trust. Getting involved does not result in ‘another layer of work’, but rather a different and better way of going about doing the things staff are trying to do anyway, and it is led by the medics, nurses and other clinicians, with support from operational managers.
In Rotherham, a mix of fantastic people from ‘out there’ in the Trust have formed a refreshed LiA Sponsor Group to support their Year 2 journey. Together – with the involvement of leaders and a network of LiA Champions – they will ‘mastermind’ getting the LiA way of working to embed as ‘the way we do things around here’. The new Sponsor Group includes multidisciplinary clinical and non-clinical colleagues led by the Chief Executive of the Trust, Louise Barnett.
Two really exciting things are happening now.
Firstly, in addition to the general spread of the LiA way of working, 10 new teams will focus on some of the biggest opportunities to improve patient care at the Trust. These include:
- Development of the Acute Medical Unit (AMU) with an appropriate bed base which will support the delivery of the frail/elderly service and ambulatory care
- 24/7 electronic tracking service to improve clinical prioritisation of patients and patient flow
- Effective utilisation of Intermediate Care beds to improve patient experience through timely discharge
- Ensuring early referral to community nursing teams for patients requiring end of life care
Each team will have 3-4 key people at the heart of it, who will, in turn, galvanise ‘all the right people’ across the usual boundaries to get involved in deciding and making the changes they want to see. These teams will have 100% backing from the Trust. Their stories will be an inspiration, create a local evidence base, and will be ‘fuelling’ a spread of this new way of working. The process itself will be simple, exciting and fun.
Secondly, leaders and managers across the Trust will have three key areas of focus to support the LiA journey:
- Reducing and removing day to day blockages that cause colleagues day to day frustrations
- Sharing the LiA approach more widely to ensure colleagues can adopt the approach to drive and deliver change
- Maximising the use of the ‘pulse check’ to regularly check how colleagues feel at the start of the LiA journey and to mark the progress.
As part of 'unblocking the way' for staff, there will also be five LiA Big Conversations to engage people on a widespread basis around:
- Getting ‘winter ready’ across community and hospital
- Speeding up recruitment, valuing all our people so they stay, and opportunities to grow within the Trust
- How we get the stuff we need to do our jobs
- Simple ways to ensure we involve you in changes that affect you – ‘no decision about you without you’
- Increasing proportion of care delivered by us rather than agency staff.
Louise Barnett, Chief Executive said, “I am really encouraged and enthusiastic about our second year of Listening into Action following the success of year one. We have a real opportunity to make many more changes for the benefit of patients, and sharing and embedding the LiA approach more widely across our organisation will help us to do this. I believe that improving colleague engagement, supported by LiA, will improve the quality of care we afford our patients and make the Trust a great place to work.