Improver of the Month!


Our May Improver of the Month, in May, goes to the marvellous Ben Mensah!

Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust (BEH) teamed up with Haelo in September 2016 to mark an exciting new era in their improvement journey. Over 12 months, a team of improvement experts are supporting a full programme of work that includes a team-based improvement collaborative across the Trust.

Following a recent site visit, our advisors were thrilled to see such great results, innovation and passion. As a result, we are delighted to celebrate this month’s Improver of the Month, Ben Mensah, BEH Service Manager!

We caught up with Ben, the collaborative team lead, to find out the secret to instigating infectious improvement…

Name: Ben Mensah, Service Manger
Team: In-patients Forensics based at Blue Nile House. The team has been on the programme since it began in September 2016 and is made up of a core nursing team, a ward manager, consultant, social workers, ward doctor and psychologist.
Organisation: Barnet Enfield and Haringey Metal Health NHS Trust

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Tell us about your improvement project?

The aim of our project is ‘to increase understanding of patient feedback and retention of information from ward rounds for patients by 50% by July 2017′

We first identified the problem through the patients themselves. We have an open dialogue with patients and one of the things that they wanted was more information from ward rounds, subsequently improving patient satisfaction. With all our patients and team on board, we’re carried out PDSA cycles, made few changes and we’re moving forward with the hope of seeing 100 per cent of our patients satisfied with the information that they are getting by the end of the year.

The team is trialing the project around the whole unit, but we’re fine tuning it at Blue Nile House first so that we can make all the changes and tweaks before wards follow in our footsteps once we’ve got it just right.

How has QI changed you?

Haelo has been my first official first introduction to QI – I mean I’ve winged it before by myself but this is the first time I’ve used evidence-based methodologies!

It’s made me think more about the methodologies that we use, how to be more focused and measure outcomes using specific tools, whereas in the past I just did it. I didn’t record anything and hoped that it worked. I now see the results!

You have a fantastic reputation of causing infectious improvement! What’s your secret?

Oh boy! I think it’s being passionate about what you do. And actually, one of the things about me is that I absolutely love my job and I like to make a difference in patient’s lives and supporting my staff.

So for me, it’s about being driven and being passionate. If I set out to do something I will do it to the best of my ability. I will bring people on board and I’ll lead it from the front. If you do that, the people around you see that you actually believe in what you’re doing. It helps that I have such passionate staff around me who are also driven.

Do you have a memorable moment on the programme?

That would be when I spoke to a patient that knew I was going to present updates from our project at learning session three (as part of the improvement collaborative) and asked if he could join me.

We have continuously sought feedback from patients, and those that matter throughout the process, so for him to stand up there with me to give feedback from a patients perspective as to what it’s been like for him – I was chuffed!

Also, I am proud of everyone’s effort, patients and staff, on making this a success. This project really highlights and celebrates the way the team operates.

What’s the best piece of advice you could give to a prospective improver?

My first advice would be to tap into the support that Haelo provide; I think that having the support from Stuart, Bob and Ben has been immense. Without them, we would be lost!

Anyone that starts should really tap into that support, it was available 24/7 and I really valued that. I can’t praise them more – they’ve been fantastic!

And secondly, don’t be scared to admit that what you’re doing isn’t working. When you have to change tactics, don’t see it as a failure but as opportunity to change. If your first PDSA doesn’t achieve its outcome, us it as an opportunity to try something else!

What are the next steps in your improvement journey?

We’ll be doing more testing and when we have the results we can scale up and roll it out wider across the wards.

I’ve already got my next project at the Beacon Centre, CAMHS unit, lined up. It’s been the result of taking over a new service and straight away identifying things that need to be improved. So I’ll be applying what I’ve learned from the collaborative and this project to this process and bring about change. I’m quite excited about it after learning so much from Haelo!

Come December, I hope to be telling you more!

What do you think?

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