You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your improvement journey

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Haelo’s Project Officer Ben Morris investigates improvement in the Police Force and in the NHS, on his first anniversary at Haelo.

It’s been a little while since I last wrote a blog for Haelo, so I thought what better way of celebrating my first year at Haelo than writing a blog…

Having reflected on my time here at Haelo it is scary to think how fast the year has gone, but more importantly how much I’ve learnt since joining. I remember my first day, like it was yesterday walking into Salford Royal full of excitement to start my improvement journey but also apprehensive about what my first day would entail. It is safe to say that the day was fantastic and every day has been the same since.

Recently I have just had my end of year appraisal and this allowed me the opportunity, to reflect on my progress since joining Haelo back in May 2016. Sometimes in our normal day to day working capacity, you don’t always have the opportunity to reflect on the progress you have made, so spending two hours with Stuart Clough (Programme Manager) discussing this was extremely beneficial.

During this reflection, I asked myself, has working in the Police Force as a Special Constabulary Inspector aided me in my improvement journey to date? Simple answer… no! Ok, so you might be thinking well why not?

Firstly, different ends of the spectrum. Both roles couldn’t be further apart. The Police Force is very black and white regarding crime in the respects that if X happens then A, B and C must follow. Whereas working in improvement that doesn’t seem to be the case or allowed, we often challenge A, B and C and ask Clinicians/Front Line Staff what other different options can be done instead that might make something easier.

Secondly, organisational culture. The National Health Service (NHS) appears to have adopted the mentality that change is required in order to improve patient safety amongst other aspects. Having worked at Haelo being involved with different NHS organisations, it is clear to see those organisations have developed a culture where improvement is embraced by their Senior Leaders. This gives staff the freedom, but also the safety blanket to test small change ideas which may result in an improvement.

Thirdly, people culture. Both the NHS and Police Force are facing their most challenging financial times known in recent history. However, some NHS organisations are open to improvement which allows staff to think creatively about they might improve a service. Recently, I helped facilitate the Safer Handover Event which involved Primary Care and Secondary Care looking at improving the handover of patients and communication. Read more in our event blog written by Becky White.

What made the event so successful was that both Salford CCG and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust created an environment where front line clinicians including Consultants, GP’s, Heads of Departments and many more could be creative about thinking what the future state of handover could look like. Having been at the event, it was clear to see those clinicians were advocates of improvement and wanted change. They didn’t want to stick to the norm or become the laggards around improvement.

Throughout my improvement career, there is one quote that will stick in my mind forever from our very own Maxine Power, Chief Executive at Haelo, “Test on one patient, on one ward, on one day”.

I am a firm believer that the Police Force can change, but they must create the right culture both for the organisation and the people to embrace change!

What do you think?

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