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Case study: Brilliant Basics at Alder Hey

Brilliant Basics is a programme of system-wide improvement at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Trust, designed to embed a common approach to quality improvement within the organisation ‘from ward to board’.

Launched in 2020,  the overall purpose of the initiative is to ensure that the basics of care are done brilliantly, every day, with every member of staff empowered to improve services for children and young people, and with families also feeling that they are part of that journey.

An important component of the programme is the provision of tools and training to ensure that everyone knows how to put forward ideas for improvement and that these are followed up transparently. The Point of Care Foundation was commissioned as a partner to the programme and we have supported teams across the organisation with training and advice.

This is a good example of how we can provide implementation support to organisations and systems to embed patient-centred quality improvement and great practice in involving children, young people and families. This comprehensive approach has impact beyond what can be achieved through an individual Patient Experience project, because it takes place across a wider range of services. Working in this way enables us to take a blended approach, deploying different elements of our other programmes according to an organisation’s needs.

Our support for Alder Hey includes:

Support for senior leaders

  • Seminars with Executive Board members to explore the current state of involvement and engagement of children and young people at Alder Hey, the purpose of involvement activities, and the desired future state at the Executive level.
  • Influencing the engagement and involvement strategy for the whole trust, to ensure that the voice of families and children and young people is part of the governance of all improvement projects. We are also working with the Director of Nursing and others to help establish a parents and families’ forum, to enhance the already active young people’s forum.

Support for quality improvement

  • Training and coaching support for staff at the Alder Hey quality hub – the team responsible for taking forward quality improvement work internally over the long term.
  • Training for service delivery teams in patient engagement and involvement, alongside KPMG who are teaching lean approaches. Point of Care Foundation elements are based on experience based co-design – namely, how to understand children and young people’s experiences, how to make sense of them, and how to build the things that matter to families into a lean improvement approach.
  • This activity is working alongside a range of clinical service teams including the integrated community nursing team, the high dependency unit, the emergency department, and a ward concerned principally with the care of young people with long term ventilation.

Ad hoc support for ‘step change’ projects – Trust priorities

  • The Foundation has supported a range of projects relating to particular trust priorities, ranging from staff wellbeing work in particular clinical areas to work with the outpatients team exploring reasons for non-attendance.

Support for staff wellbeing

  • Working with the Schwartz clinical lead at Alder Hey to support and expand their already vibrant staff advice and liaison service to ensure that as many staff as possible have access to forums for reflection. We supported the establishment of Team Time in the emergency department and outpatients with new facilitators being trained.

The Foundation’s team is agile and flexible, adapting as the work develops and unfolds.