Innovative ways of working and change for improvement were the order of the day as the Royal showcased its Listening into Action projects as part of its Annual Members Meeting in September.

Around 150 people saw the stalls that included a number of the completed projects from the LiA programme where colleagues have made changes to services at a clinical level to improve the patient experience through smarter ways of working.

The LiA programme is now in its second year with the aim of making it easier for colleagues to implement change where identified, literally turning those listening exercises into actionable projects that are led by the experts who know how to make those changes work.

Amongst the projects on display in the first hour of the AMM was a project from our Speech and Language Therapy team that involved using lemon juice to assess patients’ ability to swallow properly, patient passports that act as a communication aid, carried by patients everywhere allowing clinicians to see at a glance if they have any special needs and the IT training portal giving greater access to training modules for our colleagues.

These stalls were manned by the teams who made the changes happen and showcased what needed to be done, how they did it and how things have changed for the better. You can watch a video about the LiA programme that features some of those projects by clicking on the play button to the right.

This marketplace event covered the first hour of the AMM before the formal part of the evening began at around 7pm. The evening was introduced Chair Helen Phillips who thanked everyone for coming (despite the unseasonably bad weather!) before introducing the room to the evening’s speakers.

Chief Executive Simon Morritt (pictured below) spoke about the Trust’s six ambitions which outline the Trust’s vision and strategy to provide the best possible care for our patients. These are:

- Achieve an outstanding rating from the Care Quality Commission;
- Have services that meet all national standards;
- Have effective partnerships that offer better care;
- Be in the top 20% of NHS employers;
- Be a financially strong and well-led organisation;
- Have a clean and tidy hospital, good IT systems and be energy efficient.

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Simon also talked about ending the financial year on a positive way thanks to our Emergency Department being placed in the top 10 performers in the country, despite a major development and 84,000 people coming through the door. Financially we saved around £4million through working more efficiently, met some of our financial and performance targets to receive national funding and invested £10million in new facilities and equipment. There is still work to be done; we missed out on five of the seven cancer waiting targets, something we’re working very hard to improve.

Medical Director Gail Collins then spoke about some of the Trust’s clinical achievements including 95% of our patients being assessed for blood clots and the fact we are still an exemplar site for Venous Thromboembolism. Hospital acquired pressure ulcers are down by half, there have been only 13 Cdiff cases from 70,000 ward patients and more than 95% of patients spoken to said they were treated with courtesy, kindness, compassion and respect in our very first dignity audit. 

Gail also spoke about the Trust’s new policy to review all deaths in hospital, regardless of whether or not they could have been prevented. This allows the Trust to look at what went well and what could have gone better across all elements of care, from clinical teams to support services and domestics colleagues. Again, there are areas for improvement within cancer waiting times and the Trust is slightly off target in reducing the incidents of falls.

Our Lead Public Governor Denise Weremczuk then spoke about the work of the Council of Governors, who also had a stand at the marketplace event. She reiterated the good relationship they have with the Board and went through some of the ward visits they undertake and the role of the governors on project boards, as well as some of the challenges they’ve faced.

Jon Cort, project lead for Listening into Action, then spoke more about the LiA project, including how it is having a positive effect on staff engagement and leadership style. He talked about some of the changes the programme has made clinically (see video) and also some of the non-clinical successes such as introducing more picnic tables to allow people to enjoy a break outside that was a particular highlight during the long, hot summer.

The evening ended with a vibrant question and answer session that included queries about waiting times for cataract operations, how Brexit has affected recruitment, Royal Primary Care appointment bookings, disabled parking charges and whether working with asbestos should be on the mandatory medical questions list. It all ended with an extremely moving message of thanks from one member of the audience who thanked the bereavement team for treating him with such kindness following his wife’s passing. A very poignant way to end what was a very successful and worthwhile evening.

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To see all of the photographs of the stalls and the formal event, we have produced a gallery that you can view by clicking here.