This is a personal blog post written by Charlotte Dodd, Ward Manager at Parklands Hospital on her experience undertaking our Certified QI Leader training in May/June 2023.
As the Ward Manager at Hazel Ward, Parklands Hospital I’ve always had an interest in Quality Improvement and had previously been a part of the QI team on the ward. That was pre-pandemic though, and I had travelled to London in 2019 for the National Collaborative for reducing restrictive practice. I was very interested in QI even then, and I found it quite fascinating that you could make lots of small changes in the workplace without using the budget to improve patient care.
When I was introduced to the Certified QI Leader course, it gained my attention, but I wasn’t sure what form the course would take. I thought it would be like things I’d done previously, regarding PDSA (plan, do, study, act) cycles and change ideas, but I think I was quite surprised at how in-depth the course was and how many different kinds of resources were utilised - the different tools and techniques. I'd only really used the PDSA cycle previously.
One thing that struck me with the Certified QI Leader course was the variety of the tools and measurement methods that are introduced; and that actually there’s a really big focus on simply observing how things are done before you can make changes. Again, that hadn’t really been discussed in the previous training I had completed; that sometimes sitting back and watching how things are done and looking at where changes can be made is as important as the resulting actions.
Most importantly for me though, is that we learnt a lot and spent a lot of time going into detail on different ways we can measure change on the ward, and the importance of reviewing it, assessing it and applying the correct tools to it.
Since attending the Certified QI Leader’s course, I’m already applying some of what I learned. It was really helpful to have other people from the Parklands Hospital on the course as it has enabled us to work as a team when coming back to the ward and apply what we’ve been taught by Dean (Dean Garrett, Head of QI); it just makes you kind of sit back, observe, rethink things, pause and actually assess what's going on instead of just firefighting…which I think is a big problem in the NHS - everyone's just firefighting, so we don't think we have enough time and we don't think we have enough money but doing a course like this makes you think about other ways you can manage your problems.
The course isn’t easy and lasts for six days, but I would really recommend it to anyone who wants to know about how they can eliminate waste in their workplace, and I’m also really interested in getting the rest of my team on to the QI Olympics away day because I think it's really important to have good representation, not just from me being a Band 7, but actually it kind of echoing throughout the team, because change comes from the bottom up.
For more information on Quality Improvement and the QI training on offer, please visit the Training section.