What do you think the greatest benefits of the programme have been and how has it influenced the way you work?
Being an Improvement Fellow has really increased my confidence in QI. It has brought all my previous learning together, building on what I already knew and taking it that step further. I also felt very encouraged when I was able to share what I already knew with the group. It was nice to be part of a diverse group that could teach each other so much. I’ve worked in acute care for a long time and it’s been so great to get the chance to learn from other sectors such as community mental health practitioners and GPs. I’ve now got contacts for GPs and community care staff so we can plan patient care together.
The programme also increased my confidence to just give things a go! It taught me that ‘perfect’ doesn’t exist and I’ve become much more open to failure and feedback, which I dreaded before. I feel qualified to judge when something is ‘good enough’ to trial and I know that feedback and learning is all part of the improvement process.
How do you hope to use what you have learnt in the future?
During the programme I ran a prehabilitation trial. Prehabilitation is a relatively new concept that has been developed in the past few years. It’s a trimodal programme, engaging patients more in their care to prepare psychologically, physically and nutritionally for surgery. This reduces anxiety, reduces the chance of surgical complications and aids recovery. Patient experience and control over care is key.
I am now in the process of writing a business case to bring this method of preparation into a full two-year trial.
I also set up a multidisciplinary team focused on improvement which includes anaesthetists, clinical psychologists and nurses, and we recently had our first project signed off: getting enhanced recovery education coordinated across the surgery teams. I am really proud of what we’ve achieved so far.