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“Living Well to the Very End” – Sharing Ideas and Building Skills

Sophie Lansdowne 05 July 2016

Sophie Lansdowne explores various exercises including “Snorkelling” and “Learn, Borrow, Steal” used in the “Living Well to the Very End” event for the Patient and Family Centered Care Programme.

May and June saw our second collaborative learning event for the Patient and Family Centred Care Programme, ‘Living Well to the Very End’. This built on our first learning event which focused on the methodology and was brought to life by fantastic presentations from those who led previous PFCC projects in stakeholder mapping, as well as developing and presenting the team’s ideal patient experience. Moving the programme into its second phase, the second learning event sought to enable our teams to share ideas and to take tangible skills and techniques back to their organisations.

The Elevator Pitch

We started the day by asking the teams to present their project as an elevator pitch: having been caught in a (hypothetical) lift with (a hypothetical) Jeremy Hunt, each team had one chance to engage him in their patient centred quality improvement work. Each team impressed with very captivating descriptions of their projects and what they hoped to achieve. We will be publishing written versions of each of the team’s elevators pitch shortly on the PFCC programme page of our website and, who knows, maybe Jeremy will get to read them and be as impressed as we were.

Learn, Borrow, Steal

We followed the elevator pitches with a facilitated Learn, Borrow and Steal session in which mixed teams had the opportunity to talk about their work and learn from each other’s approaches. Focusing on both the successes and challenges they had faced, the teams valued hearing about different approaches and would be taking ideas back to their own organisations and projects.

Difficult conversations

The penultimate session of the day was run by Becky Whittaker, an experienced palliative care nurse, hospice manager and Assistant Professor of Palliative and End of Life Care in the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Nottingham. Becky ran a ‘Realtalk’ workshop, which uses film clips from authentic consultations to work interactively with professional to explore and reflect on communication skills relating to the care of patients nearing the end of life. The teams noted how the session enabled them to think around their own communicative practice and explored how they might be able to overcome some of the challenges they face.


The final session of the day taught the teams the idea generation technique of snorkelling. Adapted from the design industry’s idea generation technique ‘the Deep Dive’, snorkelling provides a practical and creative way of coming up with lots of innovative ideas in a short space of time. Wild ideas are encouraged in a very inclusive environment where judgement is not permitted, until participants begin to vote on their favourite ideas. The teams really enjoyed the session and indicated that they looked forward to taking it back to their own organisation to engage those from outside their own teams.

All in all, the teams provided much positive feedback around the day and we look forward to continuing to work with them on their patient centred quality improvement initiatives.