Review: Haelo Hosts ’14

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Haelo’s inaugural improvement and innovation conference took place on 6-7 November 2014 at The Lowry, Salford Quays. Over 100 delegates from 49 organisations attended Haelo Hosts ’14 across the two days. Access all the presentations from the conference, view the Storify curating the social media activity from Haelo Hosts, watch our event film and see if you are featured in the Haelo Hosts photo gallery.

Sir John Oldham was the Keynote Speaker at Haelo Hosts 2014

Sir John Oldham was the Keynote Speaker at Haelo Hosts 2014

Prof Maxine Power, Director of Innovation and Improvement Science, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, opened the conference by describing the improvement community as “brilliant and vibrant” and praising Haelo for “coming a long way” since the Haelo Launch event a year ago.

Audience participation was a key theme for the conference and Prof Power got delegates involved via live polling, with the audience answering questions including ‘what is your job role?’ and ‘what is the key thing you want to get from Haelo Hosts?’ using text message and Twitter.

A year could be too late

The conference keynote, Sir John Oldham, Institute of Global Health Innovation, then took to the stage and began his excellent presentation. He cited the example of an innovative teacher who was the first to take pupils outside to learn about biology as pushing the boundaries and creating imperative. Sir John made the point that a year in the life of a pupil or a patient with a long term condition could be too late.

He continued to say that the biggest challenge that improvement faces is changing mindsets and that “every improvement project starts in a sea of cynicism”. When discussing how to kickstart improvement Sir John said “enthusiasm is the rocket fuel for improvement” and that “everyone can make a contribution”.

Sir John finished his presentation by urging the audience to leave a footprint in the sand and make an imprint on people’s lives.

Technology transformation 

The next section of Haelo Hosts was an interactive panel debate chaired by Samsung’s Gregg Hardie and featuring Sir John Oldham, Dr Helen Bevan and Dr Stuart Holmes. The audience were polled on how many of them had carried ‘the bleep’ and a large majority of them had, a Haelo produced film was then shown on the subject.

The film was used as a debate starter and the panel were soon onto the subject of technology, with Sir John Oldham saying: “if we are to get close to the productivity challenge that has been set for the NHS, technology must transform service not just be an add on.” Dr Helen Bevan added that it is about being “technology enabled” and “improving the services and processes that are enabled by technology”.

Dr Stuart Holmes, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, said that “his favourite thing about Salford Royal is the EPR” and that it makes a “huge difference”. The panel then agreed that it is important to improve the processes and systems then add the technology, not the other way around and that systems need to be “designed for tomorrow”.

Wrap the data around a compelling story 

Next up to present was Dr Helen Bevan, NHS Horizons Group, who gave the delegates an insight into her journey as a healthcare change radical and that the best way to persuade people is to “wrap data around a compelling story”.

Dr Bevan continued by saying that people only change because “they want to not because they have to”, and that change agents need to inspire people to want to change. The subject of knowledge management was also discussed as she added that anyone involved in improvement needs to be a “personal knowledge manager” who sorts the “specifics from the noise”. Dr Bevan added that people need to “curate rather than create” as the knowledge around improvement is already there.

Islands of data 

After the lunch and exhibition viewing break Chief Executive of The Health Foundation, Dr Jennifer Dixon began her presentation by saying that we need to get better at using all different types of data; there are “islands of data that are underused individually”. She went on to say that “the islands need joining together” and “linking data across systems is key to getting improvement”.

Dr Dixon completed her session by discussing evaluation of improvement projects and said that although crucial it doesn’t have to be done in the traditional costly way; rapid cycle evaluations are an excellent option for evaluating improvement projects.

The measurement and monitoring of safety 

Prof Charles Vincent began his presentation on his measuring and monitoring safety paper by saying that we don’t know if  “we are making progress or not” which is “worse than knowing we are getting worse”. He went on to describe safety as an “evanescent property” saying that it can be “gone in a moment” if we don’t have the right systems in place.

Prof Vincent discussed how the reliability of systems and processes are “absolutely key to safety” and that healthcare needs to “shift from ‘assurance’ to ‘inquiry’ if we are to genuinely improve safety”. He closed his session by playing the Haelo produced Patient Safety Briefing animation.

Day one of Haelo Hosts finished with some fantastic table discussions with the speakers from the day hosting a table each and delegates spending time at each table discussing a variety of subjects.

Breakfast sessions

Three breakfast sessions began day two of Haelo Hosts, with Prof Martin Marshall, NHS QUEST and Haelo all hosting delegates and discussing their topics. Prof Martin Marshall and his colleague Dr Dominique Allwood presented on the ‘Researcher in Residence’ model and how they had trialled it. There were some interesting discussions with delegates around how the model could be used in their organisations and the challenges of implementing it.

The NHS QUEST CEOs and site leads came together to discuss where they have come to as a network, what they have gained from the network this year and in what direction to take improvement work forward in the coming year.

Haelo Director, Penny Martin, led a session about Haelo and our work to date and plans for the future alongside Abigail Harrison, Associate Director of Measurement and Innovation, who showed how the different functions in Haelo work together to deliver a programme of work.

NHS QUEST in action

Sir David Dalton, Chief Executive of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, began day two proper by interacting with the audience using live polls and introducing NHS QUEST and the work that the network does. Following Sir David on stage was Dr Andrew Gibson and Sandi Carman, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Bernadette George, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. The trio shared some of the work that NHS QUEST have been doing together this year through their programmes of Peer Site Visits, Clinical Communities and BTS Collaboratives.

Bernadette was back on stage again during the NHS QUEST awards ceremony as she collected the Trust Participation Award for Royal Devon & Exeter and the Site Lead of the Year Award for the great work she has done during 2014. Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive, Andrew Foster, scooped the Chief Executive of the Year Award.

Fireworks for the NHS 

The final session of Haelo Hosts featured Mike Farrar and Jim Easton, Chief Executive of Care UK, who both presented and were then involved in an interactive discussion with the audience. Mike Farrar began his thought provoking session by saying that many of healthcare’s leaders are “great in their institutions but not across systems”. He went on to discuss how organisations can sometimes say one thing but do another, the different ways this happens and how you can avoid it or prevent it from happening again.

This is a serious moment

Jim Easton began his presentation by telling the delegates that “this is a serious moment” and we should “work phenomenally hard to not lose any more ground”. He compared quality improvement to production engineering and said that it is “the work on the ground that gets things done”.

Jim went on to tell the improvers and leaders in the room that they had “done great things but it is not enough” and said: “congratulate yourself but also challenge yourselves, the work that you’ve done so far has been a dress rehearsal”. He told delegates to “love grunt more than glamour” and issued a call to action by saying “it is no good being the best trumpeter on the Titanic”.

An excellent debate followed with questions from delegates aimed at both Mike and Jim being answered and counter questions being offered by the audience.

Haelo Hosts ’15 

Prof Maxine Power closed the event by telling delegates they have one year to make a difference and to come back to Haelo Hosts ’15 on 26-27 November 2015 and share the changes they’ve made.

What do you think?

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