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Becoming the Best, our Quality Strategy

Becoming the Best….join us on our journey

We are in many ways a great organisation.  We have fantastic people, many strong clinical services and a scale which gives us stability into the future. 

I have been in the organisation for six years now and every day I see and hear stories about staff going above and beyond, living our values and behaviours to deliver the best care to our patients. 

But we don’t get it right every time.  I also hear about frustrations with processes or lack of resources and I recognise that we are not always consistent in our approach.   So what can we do to be better?

Last summer we began looking at how we can become an ‘Outstanding’ organisation (as rated by the Care Quality Commission) or, to put it another way, how we can ensure that we deliver Caring at its Best for every patient, every time.

We have studied what other ‘Outstanding’ NHS organisations do and they have five key things in common:

  • Their leadership team have an unwavering commitment to improving quality
  • They have a culture of improvement, encouraged by leaders at all levels
  • They systematically give people the skills to do improvement
  • They put patients at the centre of improvement
  • They work actively with the wider system


We have taken this learning and developed our new Quality Strategy – Becoming the Best.

We have created a set of priorities for the year (what we will do) and they are underpinned by the Quality Strategy (how we will do it); all of which is supported by our values which celebrate their 10th anniversary this year.

We have not needed to start from scratch.  We have already made a wide range of improvements over the last few years through our Quality Commitment, for example for patients with sepsis, and have seen improved outcomes and reduced harm as a result.  Our Listening into Action programme has empowered front-line teams to make changes that have improved things for patients and staff.  

What we want to do now is to build on what we have achieved to take us further forward. 

It will not be all change; our Trust Values, which we hold dear and are ten years old this year, will remain the same.  But we will find new ways to allow us to deliver on our Values every day, recognising the barriers that get in the way and working together to remove them.

 

So what does this mean in practice?

Whilst we are clear on “what good looks like”, there is much work to do on the “how”.  This will involve everyone working together with our patients, to do some more detailed thinking about how we deliver the approach which is set out in the Quality Strategy.  This is a long term plan, not a quick-fix, and you should not expect to see everything change all at once. 

Based on what we have seen work elsewhere, we will be applying the approach below to everything that we do:

  • We will understand what is happening in our services, so that we know what needs to be improved
  • We will have clear priorities and plans for improvement, so that we are clear about what we are trying to do
  • We will develop our culture and leadership, so that everyone is empowered and encouraged to make improvements
  • We will adopt a single approach to improvement (our quality improvement methodology), and give people at all levels the skills to use it
  • We will always involve our patients when we are making improvements that impact on them and their care
  • We will integrate this work with the wider health and social care system, of which we are a part.

The diagram shows how Becoming the Best will look over the next 12 months.  The pink and green cogs are the specific priorities that we will be looking to improve or progress this year, using the quality improvement approach shown in the blue cog.  This will be underpinned by our Trust Values, with a “golden thread” of patient and public involvement at the centre 

Becoming the Best Year 1 Cogs
John Adler, 

Chief Executive