Fab NHS Do-Ath-On

NHS Change Day started in 2013 and  was the biggest day of collective action for improvement in the history of the NHS – Fact. A countrywide event in England, NHS Change Day was a grassroots initiative devised and driven by a small group of emerging clinicians and improvement leaders.

That’s the introduction from the report to last year’s NHS Change Day from the Academy of Fabulous Stuff web-site. (See it here). (And you can flow aroud the wonderful ideas streams there too…)


Cajoled, Corralled and kicked off!

As was said during that day – it’s no good having ideas unless they are actioned.  That’s were the Change Day Do-Ath-On came in. Roy Lilley, Jon Wilks and The Blonde from The Academy of Fab NHS Stuff led a group of about 175 committed ideas folk to the RCN in London on 11th January.

I work as a leadership trainer.  It is said there are three types of organisation:

Those who make things happen….

Those who watch what happens…

And those who wondered what happened!

OK – the majority of us are in the middle.  But, we can jump into the elite leading group if we put more (often simple) practical stuff into action.  And share it, so others can steal it and mold it to their own needs, and with pride!

Here my views of the proceedings as a participant – and when the action report comes out – end of January – I will send you the links too…

The portals of the RCN HQ in London may never have heard such a confection of marvelous practical ideas. Fab NHS Change day was back in October. And a huge number of pledges were made for big and small ideas then that were shareable, scaleable and do-able.

The problem is? They were pledges, not actually doing stuff.  OK some of them were add-ons to fab ideas that were already  live.  But many were pledged by some of us who got caught up in the excitement and the infective nature of other’s enthusiasm. Nothing wrong with that. This do-ath-on day was designed to entice all of us into making our pledge a reality.  It was safer than that though (no finger pointing or accusations!). We had 5 hairy and complex problem areas to work on as streams. If we could come up with action plans that were do-able not just by preaching to the converted delegates in the room, but by others who couldn’t be there through using the action plans created, that would also give confidence to other pledgers to push on with their ideas.

Here’s the Big 5:

  1. Home First: How can we attempt to make sure that patients get back to their own place as quickly as possible?
  2. Visible Leadership: creating collaborative Leadership – perhaps just by walking around?
  3. Patient Experience: Going even further than “Hello my name is…”, seeing the whole from a patients eye view and making that experience the best it can be
  4. Living with Dementia: Taking out the disabling nature of some of those descriptions e.g notes saying ‘Dementia Patient” change it to Person with Dementia).
  5. Sepsis: 60% do not know what it is or what to do. How can we improve outcomes for something that kills more people than cancer and Traffic accidents combined, per year.

We already had some heady quotations from the champions of each section:

Stealing is good

Patients see me as an angel abut also as a death sentence

The very first requirement of a hospital is to do the sick no harm

We Scanned first in our favoured section. This expansive tuning in it got us all to focus on where we were. And that helped to focus on what we wanted as outcomes and end points. Which meant we could then come up with do-able actions

That was the focus. What was do-able by those who were immersed at the workshop. What should be do-able for those not able to be there – an action plan that was actionable from just written instructions. And like Christmas and a dog being not just for, Fab NHS Change Day is for ever, not just the day.

The summaries from the 5 showed a lot of actual actions – verbs were in evidence! OK some of them will need working up from just wishes, but it really was an energetic start. There were also some common themes – an awful lot was said about the language we use. Phrases like “discharge to assess” may say what it is, but patients don’t like the sound of it.  What about support to go home? Just feels more like-able?

The papers have been collated.  The action plans for each area will be formulated.  They will be out there by the end of January.

And then all you have to do is find them, on the Fab NHS web site.  And just do them.

It was a positive and realistic day. There is real energy for positive small action change. And that’s were monumental life changing starts.

We need to not just talk about the action, or disappear up our own analysis, or feel like we have done it because we have written the plan. We now need to do stuff.

‘Twas ever thus.

Can I ask for some help too?  My pledge was “Time for Buurtzorg in the UK:  Is it time to change the way we do social and community care. I want to investigate the Buurtzorg (Holland) model of looking after more people in their homes. I have no idea how far the concept has progressed in the UK, but if it needs a positive push, and an action centred conference of committed individuals, I pledge to be that enzyme”.  

If you have any ideas or contacts – e mail me on phil@onestepaheadtraining.co.uk


…and wished safe journey home by Andrew Foster Chief Exec in Wigan…



One response to “Fab NHS Do-Ath-On

  1. It’s great to see positivity being promoted in the NHS, it will be interesting to see the outcomes and plans ahead for 2017. As a service user and a provider of communications and marketing services, this is certainly an area of NHS comms that I enjoy working with, improving Patient Experience and putting positivity back into the staff and of course the public!

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