The day’s venue was CCT Canary Wharf – an impressive suite of conference rooms on the 32nd floor overlooking the River Thames and South Dock. As soon as we arrived we hurried over to the windows hoping to be greeted by fantastic views of the Docklands and beyond, however the grey skies and fog meant that our panorama was restricted. The day’s agenda was fairly packed, with the emphasis on shared learning and providing enough time for us all to hear about each other’s projects, successes and challenges. The day opened with an address from Will Warburton, The Health Foundation’s Director of Research who emphasised the importance of learning from failure as much as success; innovations are as much about finding what doesn’t work (and understanding why) as they are learning from what does work. Though Hannah and I both knew this objectively, it’s always good to hear it from someone else – especially as during the Innovating for Improvement round the PSB project had experienced its fair share of curveballs!
Over the course of the day we heard from four teams from our cohort. The most striking thing was the sheer variation in projects – covering ‘point of care testing in primary care’ to ‘building professional networks in local communities to improve wellbeing outcomes in alcohol and drug services’ followed by ‘pharmacies supported children and young people with ADHD medication’. Aside from explaining about what they’d managed to achieve and the impact the funding and experience had, teams were eager to point out just how much they’d had to refine their projects and scope. This was a common theme throughout the day and serves to show just how much more complex implementing innovative interventions is in practice when compared with explaining them theoretically on an application form!
In between presentations there was an Innovating for Improvment ‘marketplace’ event in which each team was able to present their project and show off materials, resources and poster. Hannah and I were able to show both the original and the Children’s and Young People’s Safety Briefings and received a great deal of interest in both – our room was certainly busy and we made the most of our networking opportunities!
As we left we were able to reflect on the project and the day’s events; we were impressed with the progress the teams had made and had left with new contacts – from Scotland, to Sheffield to the South East! It’s always interesting – and reassuring – to hear about others’ experiences and we left feeling buoyed about the level of enthusiasm across all health and social care sectors to improve the services, experiences and outcomes for patients, service users, families and carers.
In 2016, the PSB was awarded £75,000 through The Health Foundation’s Innovating for Improvement scheme. Haelo hoped to understand how the PSB should be best delivered to patients. We know people take in information in many different ways – some respond better to film, some to verbal instruction and some to written materials.
Haelo used an innovative testing method known as ‘factorial design’ (advanced plan-do-study-act cycle) to look at which delivery method (PSB film, card, verbal consultation) had the greatest effect on the patient’s knowledge. Factorial Design allowed us to test a number of interventions simultaneously and look not only at the independent effects but at the effects interactions had on the patient’s knowledge.