At the end of May, colleagues from 13 primary care practices from across the West of England, including GPs, practice managers, practice nurses and quality and safety leads, came together for the first meeting of our new Primary Care Collaborative.
The event was opened by our Patient Safety Programme Director Ann Remmers who spoke about the context for collaboration. Dr Hein Le Roux, GP & Primary Care Lead for Patient Safety for the West of England AHSN, then explained how collaboration was a combination of people and technical skills. He told a cautionary tale of the Choluteca bridge and painted a picture of what better could look like in primary care. He explained how taking a systems approach could tackle some of the challenges through collaboration, and gave an example of a patient in his care where their care could have been better, and shared the learning from that incident.
Stephen Ray, Quality Improvement Programme Manager, expored why things go wrong in a systems context and some of the methods to take a systematic approach to quality improvement to build reliable systems. He explained the clinical microsystems approach, the model for improvement, and case studies from his experience working on improvement with GP practices.
Attendees told us they really valued the time to meet other practices, learn from others and discuss subjects that they don’t normally get time to. There was great feedback about the speakers and group sessions, and the bacon sandwiches first thing were a big hit! They made a list of actions to take away from the day including looking at their existing processes and communications, developing a map of responsibilities, using PDSA and changing their language from “significant event” to “learning event”.
At our next meeting in September, the Collaborative agreed to focus more on sharing learning from particular examples from practices, with in-depth support on a topic chosen by attendees. Suggestions included:
- Engaging and motivating staff to make changes
- Putting changes into practice
- How to engage all staff to make real change
- Motivating staff and changing culture
- Bringing on board difficult characters – what impact can individuals have on instigating change?
About the Primary Care Collaborative
The Collaborative has been set up to promote a safety culture in the primary care setting through the use of incident reporting, whilst giving the practices involved tools and training in quality improvement methodology. It will also help practices to undertake their own improvement journeys and network with other practices in the region to share learning and facilitate collaboration.
Benefits for the practices involved in the new Primary Care Collaborative include helping their practice in its next Care Quality Commission inspection and will contribute to the revalidation and appraisal processes for all staff. Staff are receiving quality improvement methodology training and resources throughout. Being a part of the collaborative will also increase awareness amongst practice teams of the patient safety agenda, while promoting an open and honest culture.
Patient safety is high on the public agenda, and practice’s involvement in the scheme will improve assurance that their practice has an open and transparent approach towards patient safety, in addition to improving the overall patient experience. Patient representatives for each practice have also been invited to take part as members of the practice core team.
- Swindon| Hilton Swindon, Wednesday, 7 September 2016 from 08:00 to 12:30
- Gloucestershire | Stonehouse Court Hotel, Wednesday, 30 November 2016 from 08:00 to 12:30
- Bath | Royal United Hospital, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 from 08:00 to 12:30
For more information on the Primary Care Collaborative, please contact Kevin Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org.