Benefits for patients
In carrying out the programme, you will work collaboratively with patients and families, drawing upon their experiences to implement tangible, meaningful improvements in your organisation. Using the methodologies that the programme offers, you will gain a unique insight into the patient’s journey, meaning that all improvements that you make will be driven by what patients want and need most.
The programme really does look at the whole patient pathway as well as thinking about things from the patient’s perspective and that’s where you get a real fundamental difference”
Below are just some of the changes which have happened as a result of using the Sweeney improvement methods:
Changes in communication
Several teams have made changes to their communication with patients and families, and between different professional groups, as a result of taking part in the programme. For example:
- Written communication has been improved, including information leaflets given to patients.
- It has been made easier for family members to access clinical staff in order to ask for advice.
- Visiting arrangements have been altered to suit families and their requests.
- The information available to staff has been altered in order to help staff access the knowledge they need to help them “see the person in the patient”.
Changes in practical aspects of care
Teams have made small, do-able practical changes which have had a great impact on patients and their experience. For example:
- Processes have been altered or improved to enable a reduced length of stay, to improve analgesia, and/or to change the physical environment of both staff and patients and their families.
- Small changes such as improved food and drink, or food/drink offered to families, as well as the addition of activities on wards, have proved to make a real difference to patients.
Changes in support for junior staff
Through taking part in the programme, teams have been able to recognise how they can support junior staff better, so as to boost their confidence and therefore improve their ability to care for patients. For example:
- Staff have advised and supported junior staff in being able to have end of life conversations and in being able to prescribe at the end of life.
Benefits for staff
Our work provides staff from all professional backgrounds with the tools to take ownership over local service improvements, motivating them to use their own expertise to solve the challenges they face. By working with patients and gaining a unique insight into their pathway, staff are better able to give care which is truly patient-centred, thereby feeling a greater sense of achievement in their work.
This programme really did change the way I thought about what was important to patients navigating through NHS care… For me the relentless drive to be efficient in target-based healthcare culture totally missed the point of caring and the programme was my antidote. Now, having had my own ‘care experience’, I really appreciate the power of this programme in refocusing us around the personal, around not only the effects of the treatment we deliver, but of how we deliver that treatment, and around what is truly of value to our patients and their families.”
Joanne Minford, paediatric surgeon and director of clinical effectiveness and transformation, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Benefits for organisations
We know from evidence that bottom-up approaches to quality improvement, harnessing the expertise of frontline staff, are the approaches that are most likely to lead to long-term success. By giving staff the authority to drive meaningful change that they are invested in and which they contribute to, they are able to help makes any improvements sustainable.
By investing in our quality improvement work, the organisation also sends the message to its staff that they are valued, by allowing them the time and space to use their knowledge and expertise, and trusting that this, when combined with patient involvement, is what will drive meaningful, patient-centred improvements.
The most important difference is that staff at all levels understand that they can make a difference”