Event blog: IS4L Cohort 2 Graduation


Welcome to the live blog of the IS4L Graduation event, celebrating the achievements of cohort two on Tuesday 3rd May 2017.

It’s a year today since cohort two began their improvement journey with Haelo and we are delighted to be hosting our teams from Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC), NHS Quest and Greater Manchester Cancer | Vanguard Innovation back to the The Landing, MediaCityUK for the IS4L Graduation.

IS4 is Haelo’s flagship improvement programme, a bespoke team based training programme in improvement science that includes a blend of web-based learning, improvement coaching and site visits.

To join the conversation on twitter use #IS4L

We begin with Kurt Bramfitt, IS4L Course Director and Senior Improvement Advisor at Haelo, who welcomes team members for the last time.

Kurt reflects on the past twelve months, from the skills acquired to a new shared outlook on improvement, complimented with the tears and laughter along the way! We have taken a complex subject and mastered it together so we can now go out and teach our colleagues in the future. In addition to site visits and web ex sessions, the programme encompassed three learning sessions. You can reflect on those session with:

Kurt then welcomes our guest speaker today, Peter Bower, Professor of Health Services Research and Lead at the Centre for Primary Care, University of Manchester.

As well as his work within the NIHR School for Primary Care Research, he is part of the North West Hub for Trials Methodology Research , the CLAHRC for Greater Manchester  and the Greater Manchester Primary Care Patient Safety Translational Research Centre.  He also has a role at the University of Manchester in the management of postgraduate research.

Pete speaks about the role Improvement Science plays in relation to audit and research. Research looks at what is possible. Audit measures the actual. Improvement science looks at how to move the actual towards the possible, by using Deming’s Theory of Profound Knowledge. Despite the different roles each type of work plays, similarities exist between research and Improvement Science when it comes to the challenges of data collection. He explores how automated or in-built data collection systems make this a lot easier and how creative approaches could revolutionise both fields.

He also explores the advantages Improvement Science currently has over research. The potential of the impact of Improvement Science on changing practice, compared with the large investment of time and funding required for many large trials is one very favorable aspect of this approach.

Following a question and answer session we begin the IS4L graduation team presentations.


First up, Carol Mula, Nurse Consultant presents on behalf of the DreaMS team from The Christie (Greater Manchester Cancer) with the aim: Improving the conversation patients experience regarding the aims of their cancer treatment. Carol reflects on the programme successes including the power of robust evidence, their enthusiastic pilot teams and their high profile within the organisation. Despite challenges, the team are planning their next steps are they continue to develop their project. The team will be trying an innovative approach by providing online training and are planning how they will scale up.

DreaMS IS4 Graduation

Next up to present, Tina Dixon from the Broughton Believers team, Salford CCG, whose project aim was to increase the uptake of the flu vaccines across Broughton (MAHSC). The enthusiastic team took an ambitious aim, overcame various challenges ,from data to resources across their target groups, and saw many improvements compared to previous year and to the SCCG average. As data converts, the  team had so much data that was impossible to present it all here today! The team hit their target and have a through plan to embark on their next steps.

Francine Thorpe, Director of Quality & Innovation at Salford CCG takes to the stage as the executive sponsor of the Broughton Believers team to stress how capability building in quality improvement is a priority for Salford CCG. Francine explains “If you don’t work in general practice, flu vaccination targets may sound easy but this is no mean feat. It’ll come as no surprise with the headlines about GP pressures, resources and funding, a project of this nature will be difficult to champion especially in Broughton, one of our most deprived areas.” Francine is pictured below presenting the team with their certificate.

Following a short break, Gateway C team members Cathy Heaven and Ewan Jones from The Christie (Greater Manchester Cancer) are up to present. The team aim was to: Improve outcomes for cancer patients by supporting and education GP’s. The team created Gateway-C online portal to primary care cancer education. The team built the system and began to formulate their measures – they came up against, like may other teams, a struggle between what they would like to collect and what they could collect.

If we take you back to workshop one where it all began – The team created a short film in one of their learning session to explain what Gateway C is, watch the short film below:

Now see what they’ve created as they prepare to scale up their programme:

Their next steps include a London pilot in UCLH and the development of additional online modules. Tomorrow the team will roll out GatewayC live across 5,000 GP practices in Greater Manchester. Huge congratulations to the team, a fantastic presentation, we look forward to what the future holds for you!

We now welcome Anne Barton, Imp4act team from Central Manchester NHS FT (MAHSC) with the project aim to reduce self reported non-adherence to Methotrexate in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Their reflections include the value of patient involvement, their ‘little but often’ processes and the important of ‘making it easy’. The team still feel very early in the project but have built strong foundations and are preparing for their next steps. One of their challenges is to ensure sustainability, to do this they are producing a video and have published supporting materials.

Silver Strength team from Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, (NHS Quest) present their project: Improving patient experience by undertaking the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment. The team, Micky Mulhotra, Josie Broderick and Karen Atkinson walk the room through their improvement journey. Their assessment was a success which can be used as a effective qualitative and quantitative measure. Together they learnt to ensure a single clear vision and have the right team members on the project, which still presents as a challenge. Their next steps include making the tool electronic.

Break for lunch. Teams are welcomed back to the room by the fantastic IS4L graduation guest speaker, Dr Leonard M. Ebah, Consultant Nephrologist, CMFT. Leonard begins by sympathising with teams and the challenges they have faced along the way, comparing how you think it will go, versus the reality. He tells his story on the IS4 journey with passion, sharing all his tips and tricks and where the project is now.

Leonard explains in the beginning how the team spent a lot of time talking to the board and the many divisions to get them on board; “make it their most important problem to solve today!”. Leonard’s team, Manchester Acute Kindney Injury Team has seen and continues to achieve amazing success., winning several awards and awaiting publication. They feature in the IS4Ac Alumni Directory (case study 3, page 7), where we celebrate the IS4Ac teams over the years.

We now welcome Imps, Manchester Rainbow Clinic (MAHSC) to the stage to discuss their project: Improveing experience of antenatal care and outcomes of pregnancy for parents who have expereinced a stillbirth in a previous pregnancy. Together, team members Louise Stephens, Christine Navin and Alex Heazell share the success of their project with an exciting future ahead.

Next up this afternoon, Hackney in ITT, Homerton University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NHS Quest) with their project aim: Increasing numbers of service users receiving timely multidisciplinary care. Despite taking 5 months wrestling with their aim, they cracked it and everything consequently fell into place. The team achieved their aim and plan to reinforce and maintain their successful changes. They have a whole host of actions as they plan their next steps.

Kurt is back to the front to talk through the next chapter for the IS4L teams today:

  • Share your story. We love to share your stories, so if you want to write a news item about your journey or a blog about improvement science, please get in touch with victoria.grimes@haelo.nhs.uk
  • Lights Camera Improvement. If your team / organisation would benefit from an expert film workshop (1 day) similar to the taster session in workshop one, please contact stephen.miller@haelo.nhs.uk
  • Scale Up and Spread Improvement Academy. The academy has been set up to support those who have successfully led an improvement project and wish to take it to the next level by scaling up and spreading change as well as sharing the valuable lessons learned and experience gained from carrying out improvements. The one day academy will be led by national and international experts; Chief Executive of Haelo Professor Maxine Power and Brandon Bennett, Founder of Improvement Science Consulting. Please don’t miss this chance – Find out more.
  • Alumni reconnect event, 13 September – We will send more information out soon!

For the penultimate presentation, IS4 goes Hollywood with a pre-recorded presentation from ISaid, Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS FT (NHS Quest) with the aim: Reducing insulin admission errors. Congratulations to the team and we’re sorry we weren’t able to celebrate your achievements in person.

Finally we welcome A-Team, Salford Royal NHS FT (MAHSC) whose aim is to: Improving outpatient experience for intestinal failure unit clinic. Mike Taylor explains the remote nature of his programme and their use of technology and concludes with the next steps which includes remote video consultations, evaluation programme and a publication. Mike pictured below with team members Gavin Leahy and Sarah Rigby.

With final closing remarks from Maxine, that now brings our IS4L graduation event to a close. It’s been a fantastic event celebrating the great work of cohort two teams and individuals who have gone above and beyond to make a real difference to healthcare and for patients. To all the teams, please make sure you keep in touch and we hope to see again soon as guest speakers as we begin the next cohort of budding IS4 improvers this summer.

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