Clinical engagement and ownership of change is at the heart of the LiA approach. Imagine if all frontline staff felt empowered, energised and supported to make their services the best they can be for patients. This is the core business of the NHS and a top priority to get right.
Neil Ashwood is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Associate Medical Director at Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - and a key member of the LiA Sponsor Group, alongside several other doctors. Having started their LiA journey in January, this is how Neil sums up the impact so far:
"Having time to stop and listen to my colleagues has allowed me to reflect upon my role at Burton Hospitals. Our hospital is a place where people smile and are friendly. Listening into Action (LiA) has enabled us to take that to the next level by creating a buzz and a ‘force for change.’
There is a ‘caring’ and safety conscious culture within this hospital in Burton. Nobody has lost sight of delivering focused patient care. The question is how we can do this most effectively?
Empowering people to fulfil their potential and improving outcomes for our patients are some of the reasons I joined the LiA Sponsor Group. There are a lot of good ideas that improve care processes and efficiencies within the Trust, and tapping into the 'pool of talent’ here in Burton is one of my goals as Associate Medical Director.
Reducing repetition and streamlining processes by removing redundant frustrating steps and practices came up a number of times at the initial LiA Staff Conversations, which were hosted by the Chief Executive and clinical leaders.
The process of sharing our ambitions and hopes on the LiA Conversation days was invigorating, and hearing how we may change frustrating practices to rewarding ones often by simple measures made a lot of sense. There was a real passion around the room for ‘getting stuck in’ and altering things from the way the hospital looks in various areas, to how we transfer patients and look after them and staff within the organisation.
Hospitals have a lot of external regulatory pressures to respond to which I feel makes us reactive. In the case of LiA, the enthusiasm to lead change for ourselves was evident in a direction that benefits patients, the community and staff. All that is needed is to set things in motion.
As part of our LiA work, I am particularly focusing on how we deliver effective care in a timely fashion to our patients on the wards, reducing the moves around the hospital. Everyone agrees it’s a worthwhile process and is in the patient’s best interests and reduces frustrations for family and staff. There were innovative ideas that have arisen that will enable us to look at this with a fresh perspective. I look forward to taking this forward with the team of enthusiasts that have offered to go the extra mile to work on this together.