What’s your best-fit coaching style?

Our quality improvement project support officer, Kate Phillips reflects on her learning from the West of England Academy Improvement Coach Programme…

I recently took part in a great two-day improvement coaching event hosted by the West of England AHSN, funded by The Health Foundation. The event was attended by 26 of the West of England Qs, a group of people who I am really enjoying getting to know as we share a passion for driving quality improvement (QI) in healthcare. Sue Mellor and Dee Wilkinson, our fabulous facilitators, guided us through three coaching approaches with an emphasis on finding our ‘best fit’ coaching style. This encouragement for honest reflection ensured I left with a bounty of personalised counselling tools.

We started the course by working out our Honey and Mumford personality type which led to conversations around team dynamics and how to make the most of individual talents. I felt a sense of belonging and of ‘finding my people’ as the room was buzzing with personality type ‘private’ jokes. A particularly comical moment was when three ‘activists’ were first up to grab the board pen, while the ‘theorists’ were still discussing the merits of the process!

I initially joined the ‘pragmatists’ as I thrive on finding evidence-based logical solutions. However, following an insightful conversation with a colleague, I scooted myself closer to the ‘reflectors’. She had noticed how I often approach tasks with a reflector mindset, which I reckon comes from a desire to learn best practice from more experienced colleagues (experienced in QI and identifying personality types!).

Having very recently made a jaunty sidestep away from a career in teaching, I am still finding my QI feet… Interestingly I think personality types are fluid and can change depending on the situation we find ourselves in.

For example, if I was to stroll back into a classroom and teach a class about displacement reactions (fire!) you would see a pragmatic Kate, but put me in the office answering the phone you would firstly see me very flustered as I juggle the telephone voice, demands of the caller and transferring the call. However after my heart rate has returned to baseline, I will reflect on the success of the phone call and how I can make it less of an ordeal next time (more fire?).

As I’m sure a lot of QI projects involve taking people out of their comfort zones, I think it is important to recognise that personality types may take a detour away from ‘the norm’ during the changing situation. I can imagine this having quite a big impact on team dynamics.

As the two-day programme unfolded, Sue and Dee skilfully balanced theory-based learning with opportunities to ‘play’ with different coaching approaches, always with the focus on our own QI projects. We worked in triads to explore the benefits of three different coaching approaches:

GROW – Goal, Reality, Options, Will

CLEAR – Contracting, Listening, Exploring, Actions, Review

OSCAR – Outcome, Situation, Choices, Actions, Review.

As both coach and coachee, the chance to experiment with these approaches and to work with different Qs was an invaluable opportunity for me.

As a coach I grasped the power of suspending judgement, in allowing silence to fall in a conversation and the truth that can be discovered by tapping into the conversation energy level as it peaked and troughed. My favourite approach was GROW, as I found the acronym was easy to remember and the conversation often flowed quite naturally along this path.

In the position of a coachee I learnt to approach the conversation honestly and openly. As a result I was rewarded with multiple light bulb moments as QI ideas and feelings bubbled to the surface, simply drawn out with a few pertinent questions and some very active, active listening. I’d like to thank my triads for these delicious moments of clarity.

I left the programme feeling excited by the power of listening and empowered by the ability to harness a 15 minute time slot. My enthusiasm was echoed amongst the other delegates. “It’s powerful stuff for fostering change,” said one.

I’d love to hear your own thoughts and tips about using coaching to promote and accelerate QI projects. You’ll find me on twitter at @IamKateP or @weahsn.

Q survey 2016

What is Q and how will it help health care?

Q is a diverse and growing community of people with experience and understanding of improvement who are committed to working collaboratively to improve the quality of health and health care across the UK.

Over time, Q will grow to be a community of thousands of people including front-line staff, managers, researchers, policy makers, patient leaders, and others.

By working together, those who join Q are supported to be more effective in their own improvement work and make more of a difference on shared quality issues.

Q is an initiative, led by the Health Foundation and supported and co-funded by NHS England.

What is the West of England AHSN doing?
We are supporting Q and have committed to help identify potential participants for future cohorts. This complements our own ongoing strategy of identifying improvement expertise and experience across the region.

Your assistance in completing this survey will allow us to begin the exercise of mapping our regional capacity and provide the Health Foundation with basic details of individuals interested in improvement.

In completing this survey you are stating that you give consent for your name, contact details and information about the improvement work you are involved in to be shared with the Health Foundation for the purposes of understanding regional improvement activity and networks and to receive information about being a future participant of Q.

Please be aware that your details will not be shared outside of the West of England Academic Health Science Network or Health Foundation Q Initiative team and you are not committing to being part of any future cohort of the Q Initiative.

For more information visit www.health.org.uk/programmes/about-q-initiative or contact Kevin Hunter kevin.hunter@weahsn.net

How can we help you enhance your skills in Patient Safety and Quality Improvement?

The West of England AHSN is conducting a survey amongst health and social care professionals to identify the skills and expertise in our region around Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. And we’re keen to hear from you.

This will help us to better share learning and expertise, and tailor our approach so it meets the healthcare community’s ongoing needs to deliver long-term, sustainable improvements in patient care.

We’re developing our work alongside ‘Q’, an initiative led by the Health Foundation, supported and co-funded by NHS England, and designed to connect people skilled in improvement across the UK.

If you are interested, experienced or trained in Safety or Quality Improvement work, then we would like to invite you to complete this short survey, which should take between five and ten minutes to complete.

This survey is being managed by the West of England AHSN in partnership with The Health Foundation.

For further information, contact:

Kevin Hunter, Patient Safety Programme Manager
0117 900 2413

Emergency Department Safety Checklist rolled out to Weston, North Bristol and Gloucestershire

This month sees the first wave of early adopters of the Emergency Department (ED) Safety Checklist in the West of England, with Weston, North Bristol and Gloucestershire following University Hospitals Bristol’s lead.

The ED Safety Checklist was piloted at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) and supported as a SHINE research project by the Health Foundation. The Checklist systematises the observations, tests and treatments in a time-based sequence for all patients other than those with minor complaints.

In its first year the Checklist has had an extremely positive and demonstrable impact on patient safety in ED.  Since its introduction in the UHB ED, there have been no clinical incidents relating to a failure in recognising deteriorating patients or delays in care delivery. (During the winter of 2013/4 there had been five serious incidents of which three occurred in the ambulance queue.)  Mean proportions in Key Performance Indicators (KPI) taken before and after the introduction of the Checklist improved by 5% – 25% in most cases.

Commenting on the pilot, Dr Emma Redfern, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at UHB and Associate Clinical Director for Patient Safety at the West of England AHSN, said: “All key performance indicators have improved since we implemented the Safety Checklist: things like vital sign measurements, pain scoring and administration of pain relief.

“We feel that a well-designed Safety Checklist can improve the quality of care delivered to our patients during periods of crowding.”

Due to the pressures on local urgent care systems, the West of England AHSN is now supporting three other EDs to implement the Checklist, through the development of an easy-to-use Toolkit and a financial award.

Weston Area Health NHS Trust is our first early adopter, while North Bristol NHS Trust plans to implement the Checklist by the end of December.  Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will be our next early adopter in early 2016.

With support from the West of England AHSN, UHB have applied for Scaling Up funding from the Health Foundation to roll out the ED Safety Checklist across the whole of the South West, and we will hear if we are being invited for an interview in January.

For more information on the ED Safety Checklist, contact:

Emma Redfern
Associate Clinical Director for Patient Safety

Joanna Garrett
Patient Safety Improvement Lead

You can watch a short video here about the ED Safety Checklist pilot at UHB. You’ll need the password ‘shine’.