Innovating for Improvement | Round 6 Launch


Welcome to the live blog for the Innovating for Improvement round six: launch event, held on Thursday 7th December 2017 at the etc.venues, Fenchurch Street, London.

Haelo has been commissioned by the Health Foundation as expert support providers for the Innovating for Improvement programme. The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better heath and heath care for people in the UK.

You can join the conversation or see tweets from the day with #THFinnovate follow us @_Haelo and @HealthFdn.

Selected by The Health Foundation, 21 teams make up the sixth round of innovation programme that will run for 15 months. Innovating for Improvement aims to improve health care delivery and/or the way people manage their own health care through the redesign of processes, practices and services. The selected projects will be led by clinical teams and will develop their innovative ideas and approaches, put them into practice and gather evidence about how their innovation improves quality.

10:00am Today marks the official launch for the round 6 programme with the award holder being together for the first time. Delegates arrive, now fueled with coffee and packed with materials to support the day, we settle in with a welcome and run through from Zoe Egerickx, Haelo Improvement Advisor and the lead for NHS Quest. We have a packed agenda today featuring our guest speaker from NHS England, Prof Tony Young, interactive and facilitated group work and a variety of expert break our sessions.

We really want you to have fun, leave your worries behind and enjoy it!

We have a fantastic geographical and professional spread of teams today.

Zoe passes over to Sarah Henderson, Assistant Director, The Health Foundation to join her in welcoming teams. Sarah celebrates teams for the amount of effort and time they have already put in to get through this competitive process and be here today. As a former NHS manager, she has experienced the stresses and struggles of everyday life that can hinder us to make the step to innovate and be at events like this today. In an overview of the Innovating for Improvement programme – it’s one of the most popular of The Health Foundation’s award schemes – Sarah emphasised that one of the most important aspects of Innovating for Improvement is ‘learning together’ – this programme provides an opportunity for The Health Foundation to learn about how innovation works ‘on the ground’.

Sarah continues “It can be a lonely place doing improvement projects in the health sector but the wonderful thing about events like this that there are 20 other teams sharing the same challenges and successes. The programme also gives you dedicated teams with your project team. They’ll be teams from both The Health Foundation and Haelo to support you every step of the way.”

With strategy out the way, Sarah shares a short film about the Recovery College, a life changing health care innovation. The film features the Severn & Wye Recovery College, which was set up by the 2gether Trust in 2013 to provide a new way to support people living with mental health problems. The film, a little daunting for at first for teams, showcases how from small beginnings the college developed and the inspirational way it is harnessing peer support to help people manage their own recovery in the long term. Since it started in 2013, it has helped over 200 people, with graduates like Heather becoming facilitators themselves.

Recovery college – From mental health patient to recovery student from The Health Foundation on Vimeo.

We want to learn from you and your experience, so please let us know how you get on. Sarah passes to Daphne Amevenu, Programme Manger at The Health Foundation gives teams an overview of the programme, what it will offer teams from collaborative learning opportunities to key programme dates over the next 15 months.

Zoe is then back to give the room an overview of the bespoke Haelo support offer and expertise available. And what better way for us to talk about ourselves than through film…

Teams have been assigned a carefully matched consultant who will be a critical friend during the process. Haelo will host regular social learning events to overcome common challenges together and respond with solutions. Zoe is joined by Kurt Bramfitt, Senior Improvement Advisor at Haelo who outlines the opportunities available through site vists, which will take place during action periods, support from coaches including training and support. Kurt highlights the extent of the expertise in the room and explained how Haelo would be seeking to harness as much as possible of this capability during the programme’s lifetime and to connect delegates to each other and Haelo’s wider networks, sharing learning and experiences. Central to this connection will be the coming together of teams around common challenges to develop common solutions. This will be facilitated by the ‘Hub’, an interactive digital platform developed by Haelo which allows teams to share resources, provides a dedicated space for teams to work on their projects and has a curated library of improvement science journal articles and resources. In their support pack today, teams have a menu to refer to and what you can ask for support with.

11:00am We are absolutely delighted to welcome Professor Tony Young, National Clinical Lead for Innovation at NHS England, consultant surgeon, Director of Medical Innovation at Anglia Ruskin University as our guest speaker today. With inspirational personal reflections in a closed session, Prof Young today focuses on the role of failure in innovation aspiring to make innovation everyone’s business so that the NHS and it’s millions of users will benefit. Quoting Winston Churchil, Tony begins

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

With a nickname at NHS England or Tigger, Tony shares a suitable quote “Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb but how well you bounce.” Tony explores how if we don’t accept failure, we can’t learn from failure. And failure is in fact when you don’t learn when you get it wrong.

When asked about resilience during his personal experience, Tony shares the key is to having a strong professional and personal support network around you to protect yourself and the benefits of being in amazing programmes like these, with like minded people and the support of experts. He shares a quote he believes to be fundamental to the NHS, from Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Pitched four years ago, Tony discovered that ‘we support everything else but not this’ creating the largest training programmes for clinicians – The Clincial Entrepreneur Training Programme – opening the door to junior doctors. The clinical entrepreneur training programme is designed to offer opportunities for junior doctors and wider health professionals to develop their entrepreneurial aspirations during their clinical training period. After bringing the session to a close, Tony thanks people for their understanding in keeping the session confidential. We also caught up with Tony in a short interview, we hope to have the film for you soon!

11:35am This now brings us to the Knowledge Exchange. We know that one of the things that teams most value is time to connect with others doing similar work, so this next session is designed to bring you together with people who are working on common innovations. In a quick paced session, teams have six opportunities with a five minutes timer to have conversations with someone new each time, introducing your project. Teams are assigned a theme broadly based on their project and grouped to aid the teams.

Energetic conversations spill into lunch where teams are also challenged with networking bingo to be in the chance to win a prize, to collect contact details to fill your card. also during lunch, teams are asked to choose one of six capability breakout sessions hosted by Haelo and Health Foundation experts, including a live action learning set. The sessions are designed around key areas, teams are asked to split the teams to come back and share learning.

13:30pm Back from lunch, Zoe brings the room back with a second film form The Health Foundation celebrating life-changing innovation at Northumbria NHS Trust’s – a great demonstration to give teams courage and motivation as we progress along our journey together. The film tells the story of how the well being of older care home residents is enhanced by making sure they are only prescribed the medicine they really need, and the positive impact this has had on the people who work on the project too.

Exploring learning and challenges, teams split into their selected sessions. We are hosting:

  • Action Learning Sets | Haelo Senior Improvement Advisor, Zoe Edgerickx introduced participants to the process and methodology behind Action Learning Sets, an approach which can be used to foster a learning environment and work through challenges. Attendees engaged in the session exploring when it’s used and it’s structure, before having a go together by using prompts to test the process. It was interesting when reflecting after that session that all participants work in healthcare where it’s our professional instinct to solve problems. This development tool introduced a new way of working, sharing experiences and empowering problem solving where  the individual finds the solution – rather than be told what to do.
  • Clinician Engagement | The Health Foundation’s Insights and Analysis team provided key insight and learning on gaining clinical support for new service models or interventions from The Health Foundation’s portfolio. Participants were asked to brainstorm and start to develop strategies for provider engagement.
  • Evaluation | Members of Haelo’s Evaluation Team, Kasaia Noone and Georgia Liddle, provided participants with an understanding of ‘how to get the most value out of your evaluation’ focusing on the integration of learning throughout your project’s implementation.
  • Measurement | Haelo Senior Improvement Advisor, Kurt Bramfitt walked participants through ‘measurement for improvement’ with a particular focus on outcome measures. Participants were able to work on their own measurement strategies during the session.
  • Co-production| In this session, Health Foundation staff highlighted the benefits and challenges, suggesting ways to overcome them when co-producing projects. Personal experience of co production were shared by Maternity Voices with practical tools to enable co-production.
  • Improvement Project Design | Improvement is rarely linear which can mean that management requires a flexible, responsive approach: Haelo Programme Manager, Stuart Clough facilitated a session on how best to design and manage an agile improvement project. The group shared and acknowledged previous challenges and how to overcome them together on their improvement journey.

Each break out group is tasked to feedback on what they learned together in a creative and fun style, back to the main room. From charades and Christmas carols to poetry and choreographed routines, we saw a fantastic range of presentations.

Inspired and full of ideas, teams are now have the opportunity to get back together to think about what they’ve learned and what to do next, using the support consultants in the room. Equipped with a template to guide discussion. It has been clear that today has provided protected time for a group of dedicated professionals outside of the day job, and their traditional settings, to think innovatively and creatively about how we can improve healthcare together.

Bringing the room back together for the final time, Zoe lists next steps for the teams. Make sure to get in touch with your consultant to arrange your first site visit. We look forward to what the next few months hold for teams and meeting again for the mid-point event. That’s a wrap!

Spot yourself on film

The launch event film is now out! Take a look…

Haelo are the official support providers for round five and round six, Innovating for Improvement. Since their launch event in March 2017, round 5 have also met for their mid point event in September 2017.


Find a list of references from the event:

For award holders

Health Foundation resources on ‘Communications’


  • Parry, G.J., Carson-Stevens, A., Luff, D.F., McPherson, M.E., Goldmann, D.A. (2013) Recommendations for evaluation of health care improvement initiatives. Academic Paediatrics 13(6 Suppl): S23-30.
  • The Health Foundation, ‘Evaluation: what to consider. Commonly asked questions about how to approach evaluation of quality improvement in health care’
  • Perspective on context | The Health Foundation


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