The appeal of the Always Events is it’s focused
on what matters most to patients. Because the feedback from the patients is
instant the changes happen there and then so it wasn’t an issue getting staff engaged
at all. For me always events are a way of really ensuring
that we are doing the best for people who use our services, their families and carers.
What we have seen is a tremendous impact, in terms of how service users and staff have
responded to the initiative. I feel like I’m… part of… part of my care,
yeah. We were inspired to develop Always Events
by Kate Granger and her campaign to get ourselves to introduce ourselves to patients and carers
and it struck us that while introducing ourselves is really important it wasn’t the only thing
that should always… happen. And Kate really liked the idea but Kate was
also very insistent that whatever we did should be owned and developed by staff and patients
themselves and it shouldn’t be imposed from above.
So Always Events was a perfect methodology reminding us that certain things always needed
to happen but what you pick as an Always Event is decided by your staff group, your patient
group, your carer group and they work it out together.
And it’s proved to be enormously successful in those Trusts and other NHS organisations
who tried it. What we did is looked at a lot of the complaints
on the ward, the friends and family responses, then we asked several questions on the ward,
we asked the question of, “what would make the patients feel safe and cared for?”
Out of this came three themes really, one was the answering of call buzzers, medication
and delays in receiving medication sometimes, and also the communication with relatives.
The thing that we are concentrating on at the moment is the call buzzers, and what I’ve
started is running some workshops with staff and patients.
So for example yesterday, I had two staff members, a trained nurse and a health care
and two patients because obviously it’s a respiratory ward the patients are quite breathless
so we stayed at the bedside and we discussed how they felt when there were delays in their
buzzers answering and how it felt to be breathless. At lunchtime we allocate someone for buzzers,
so another time they mentioned was first thing in the morning it’s always extremely busy
during handovers so we look to allocating a staff member to do buzzers at that time. We’re hoping to have made lots of small changes,
with the involvement of patients I hope that they’ll feel more involved in the way that
we make changes on the ward and improve communication. The staff and patient workshops I feel are
very important for raising awareness and then to use these examples in the future for how
we develop care on the ward. So for me what the Always Events enable the
magic mix, they enable us to really understand what really matters deeply to people and then
provide that environment for the people who are using the services their families, their
carers and some of the people providing care at the point of care, to create a co-design
team to enable that to happen, to come up with some ideas for improvements so some change
ideas. What I’ve seen is that staff have really embraced
and owned the initiative and being able to work with service users, people who use our
services, in true partnership respecting, listening, paying attention to the things
that are really important to the people that use our services and that really optimises
the opportunities to improve care and put people at the heart of everything we do.
Our Always Event was around ‘I will always be supported in moving on in care’ they came
up with fabulous ideas like it would be really good if letters came with photographs on them
so we knew who was going to come and see us or if there’s been a change.
So what the team did then was absolutely redesigned that so all the letters now have photographs
on them. Interviewer: When your idea was chosen, how
did you feel about that? I felt chuffed!
For me, it’s kind of, Always Events is get involved because it’s the right thing to do
and it will design something that will work and that’ll be sustained and you can then
spread. Always Events has proven to be a really effective
programme and there are two particular reasons for getting involved, the first is that they
really come with ownership from the patients and staff, they’re focusing on things that
people think matter and they are developing changes which people are really committed
to delivering so they last beyond the improvement programme.
But second also is the involvement of the Institute of Health Care Improvement and the
Picker Institute have really added value to this programme, they come with a lot of knowledge
of what other health care organisations have done, both in the NHS and overseas and they
come with some really good ideas about how we can measure effectiveness of the Always
Events without adding lots of cumbersome new methodologies, so I think those are two particular
ingredients that I’d recommend, and that people have found really valuable from the programme.