31 July 2009

BME Cancer Advocacy Project wins award

An innovative volunteering project which helps to provide support for people from black and ethnic minorities (BME) who are living with cancer has won an award. The BME cancer advocacy project in Newcastle won the Celebrating Diversity Award 2009 for the North East...

More info: http://www.northoftyne.nhs.uk/news/press-releases/bme-cancer-advocacy-project-wins-award

28 July 2009

Employee engagement - yet again!

I have just joined a 'ning' group - you may be interested to join as well:

Lots of interesting facts, opinions and contacts in the employee engagement field.

27 July 2009

We asked, You said... (WAYS)

Officers in the Bensham area of Gateshead are listening to local residents and acting on their concerns.

On June 22 survey work started in Bensham on Operation WAYS (We Asked,You Said) to find out what local residents are worried about - and do something about it...

More info: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/news_and_events/news/details.asp?id=16299

24 July 2009

Leeds Share and Learn

Leeds Share and Learn has been set up as a way to share information, knowledge and experience between health and social care professionals in Leeds. Whether that's details of some learning, an event or training, a useful podcast, a relevant article or some upcoming awards.... If there's something you think would be useful to include just drop us an email and we'll do the rest....


A blog rich in ideas about improvement in the health & social care network - in Leeds (but lots of info about improvement generally!)

Have a look

22 July 2009

Employee engagement matters - again!

No surprises here - but an excellent review of why employee engagement is so critical to overall sucess.


4 themes emerged for David McLeod in his reseach:
  • Clear sense of where the organisation is going
  • Really engaging managers with lots of reinforcing feedback
  • Real employee voice - everyone understands how the business is doing
  • Bringing together of stated values and behaviours

David MacLeod and Nita Clarke were commissioned by the Department for Business (BIS) to take an in-depth look at employee engagement and to report on its potential benefits for organisations and employees. The Secretary of State for Business, Lord Mandelson, encouraged the independent reviewers to examine whether a wider take up of engagement approaches could impact positively on UK competitiveness and performance, and meet the challenges of increased global competition....

21 July 2009

CSO gains sign language award

A Community Support Officer in Cramlington has been working to bring the police and the deaf community closer together.

Barry Elliot, who has served as a CSO in Cramlington and Seaton Valley for the past four years, identified a communication issue between police and the deaf communities in Northumberland.

More information: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/news_and_events/news/details.asp?id=16126

20 July 2009

The truth about... creativity

As readers of this blog will know - I am always on the look out for interesting websites & books designed to support creativity. I just came across this book - which although I have not yet read (it has only just been published) - seems like it will contain a good number of helpful nuggets of wisdom. The book is by Patrick Harris - a well respected practitioner in this field.

You can get some details here:

And some more info and a chance to buy at Amazon - here.

A book for some Summer reading perhaps?

15 July 2009

The 'real' NHS innovation websites

Prompted by my thoughts below - I wrote to Lord Darzi. I received this reply today.


Dear Mr Harvey,

Thank you for your email dated 9 July to Ara Darzi regarding innovation in the NHS. I have been asked to reply.

The website that you refer to, namely www.innovations.nhs.uk , is not the flagship site for the Innovation Commitment that came out of the High Quality Care for All report and is not sponsored by the Department or the NHS, nor is it endorsed by either. It is unfortunate that you came across this site. However, I can assure you that progress is currently being made to close it down.

The site that I think you would find more helpful, which is sponsored by the Department of Health and hosted by The National Innovation Centres website, is to be found at www.nic.nhs.uk. Here you will find tools and advice to support innovators at all stages of the Identify, Grow and Diffuse Innovation cycle, as well as a forum for front line clinicians to suggest areas in need of innovation and a collaborative space for solution providers to engage with them. There is also a range of ‘How To’ guides to support innovators which you may find of particular interest.

The ‘Showcase’ section of this site flags recent or soon coming innovations to the service. These, in turn, are fed by the outputs to the Innovation Hubs, the National Innovation Centre, Universities and companies, and will feature the outputs of the Strategic Health Authorities (SHA) Innovation Funds when the outcomes from these new Funds emerge into the healthcare world.

Research conducted during the Next Stage Review highlighted the need for better adoption and diffusion of innovations. In April, the Department launched a series of initiatives to address this, particularly NHS Evidence and SHA Regional Innovation Funds, which I hope will be of interest to you.

The NHS evidence site, www.evidence.nhs.uk, is a one-stop portal bringing together all clinical and non-clinical evidence on treatments, and will better equip everyone in the NHS who makes decisions about treatments or the use of resources, and also patients who want to know more about their care. The evidence will be comprehensive, quality assured and made available both in its original form and through guidelines, pathways, tools and other resources. It will inform patient care, commissioning and service management.

The aim of SHA Regional Innovation Funds is to provide a dedicated pot of money (£220million) to spend on the development and diffusion of new and innovative ideas, reducing the time it takes to get ideas from ‘bench to bedside’. Where funding was not previously available to support, test and pilot new ideas that will deliver better health, better care or better value for the patient, these can now be accessed through the R egional I nnovation F unds . The se funds will also encourage 'open innovation' in the NHS - working with partners from academia, the scientific community, the private sector, third sector and areas to develop joint solutions to healthcare challenges, encouraging collaboration rather than competition.

Other initiatives supporting the adoption and spread of innovation include:

a series of NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes totalling £20million that will be launched later in the year, and will recognise and reward breakthroughs in the provision of health services;

  • a Legal Duty which is now placed upon SHAs to promote innovation. This is the first time any body or organisation has had a statutory responsibility linked to innovation;
  • academic Health Science Centrewhich will bring together world class research, teaching and healthcare delivery so that developments in research can be more rapidly translated into benefits in patient care in the NHS and across the world;
  • better support for the planning and measuring of uptake of pharmaceuticals and, in response, a number of measures will be introduced, and also to simplify how medical technologies pass from development into wider use, and benchmarking and monitoring uptake; and
  • establishing Health Innovation and Education Clusters,phase one 2009/10 has been introduced. We are currently inviting application bids from multi professional partnerships between academia, education, health services and wider industry/ independent sector.

I hope that you will find this information useful and are able to access your local networks in continuing your innovations efforts.

Yours sincerely,

Martin Gatty

Customer Service Centre


A very constructive & useful reply, methinks. So grateful thanks for this information which I am happy to put on this blog.

St Albans suggests...

1) Replace the colour photocopier in our reprographics department to enable it to take more in house jobs. This was coupled with better promotion of our in house design and print team to enable us to getter better value for money out of the facility.

2) Early delivery of post by Royal Mail which has freed up three member of staff's time to work in other areas of the business

3) Creatively looking at our training process for Customer Service staff handling planning enquiries to ensure that staff can be trained to a high standard quickly and competently.

4) Sale of Council redundant computer equipment which has generated income for the council as well as ensured that we do not pay a fee for disposing of electronic equipment as previously. It also fits in with our principle to protect our environment.

5) We are currently looking at how our teams are laid out in the council, to ensure that there is maximum interaction between officers to share information.

Suggestions arising from the St Albans City & District Council's staff suggestion scheme - thanks for these examples

General Ideas for developing more small creative ideas

Gather intelligence and ask for user ideas and input at every opportunity – informal conversations, registration desks at meetings, phone conversations and so on. Your customer research doesn’t always have to be formal or costly

Share ideas (while acknowledging colleagues’ contributions) – don’t reinvent the wheel with a report or idea which other colleagues or organisations have used or developed (note that this is more difficult to do in the private sector but is encouraged in public service)

Don’t be hidebound by job titles and protocol. Ask people for help or to join your projects where they can be of assistance. Cultivate allies and people you can work with as you find them, not just as they present themselves to you. If the “accepted” way of working doesn’t work for you, find a way that does – at least until someone stops you and tells you off! At the same time, if people who are supposed to be helping you don’t come through, don’t waste time making them help if you can find another way or bypass them altogether. The very fact a particular colleague is not acknowledged on a piece of work is likely to speak volumes about them in any case.

Surprise people by presenting ideas in a different way (for example, in otherwise formal meetings, using differently formatted reports, workshops instead of formal presentations, posing questions to work through in discussion in small groups). You are likely to find that they will react in a different way to you, and work with you more productively.

Thanks to St Albans City & District Council for these suggestions

09 July 2009

Building confidence in the police

St Wilfrid’s Primary School in Northenden is set to be the first school to receive child size PC and PCSO high visibility vests from the Northenden Neighbourhood Policing Team.

The miniature vests, which fit three to four year olds, have been specially designed for children to use during roleplay in lessons and will be presented to every primary school and nursery in the area....

More information:

Neat idea which I hope will go some way towards building positive links between the police and the communities that they serve. Two thoughts though:
  • Do they have a miniature low visibility criminal uniform too for the role plays?
  • Secondly (more seriously) there is no mention of evaluation... I do hope they will assess the impact of this initiative?
Readers may be interested in my other blog articles on confidence in policing:

http://jonharveyassociates.blogspot.com/2009/04/hitting-single-target.html - discussion about the implications of the new single measure

07 July 2009

NHS Innovation Hubs

England has nine regional NHS Innovation Centres (hubs), aligned to Regional Development Agency and Strategic Health Authority boundaries. They can all be accessed via this site:


The Centres were established in 2004 / 05 with a dual mission; to champion the cause of healthcare innovation and to identify, develop and commercialize innovations and Intellectual Property created by NHS staff. The multiple drivers for this activity include improved patient care, enhanced service delivery, increased business and enterprise activity and additional revenue that NHS Trusts can re-invest into patient services.

I would really like to be able to say that these websites are packed with innovative ideas that can be applied across the NHS and even to other parts of the public services. However - what they appear to be about are the ins and outs of intellectual property, details of the how NHS innovations can help you (etc.) and a smattering of case studies - if you can find them on these websites...

On the London site - you get a link to:

Community Services Wandsworth’s Approach to Assurance, Clinical Governance and Quality Improvement: http://www.nhsinnovationslondon.com/filestore/documents/Team%20Tool%20Factsheet%20Final%20(2).pdf

... which seems to be an advert for a commercial product you have to buy...

Come on NHS innovations - you can do better that this!

If Lord Darzi's dream of there being lots of 'eureka' moments in the NHS - we need more ideas, more case studies, less emphasis on intellectual property and more openness!

Interestingly - I justtried emailing this organisation at the link given on their website: info@nhsinnovations.co.uk

It does not work! Nor indeed does info@innovations.nhs.uk Is this the basis for innovation in the NHS?

STOP PRESS 14/7/09: Lord Darzi has resigned...

I sincerely hope that a new minister takes up the innovation challenge!

STOP PRESS AGAIN 15/7/09: It turns out this website is not sponsored or endorsed by the Deaprtment of Health. See my posting above.

06 July 2009

Community Therapy Service Rehabilitation Assistants

Community Therapy Service Rehabilitation Assistants (Community Therapy Service, Independent Living centre, SCH )

From Wirral PCT "Simply the best" awards programme - This is an award for individuals or groups of staff within the PCT or from independent contractor organisations (GP, dental, optometry practice or community pharmacy). This was the 2008 winner.

Why should the nominee receive an award?


This was a simple idea, using readily available resources, to:-

1) Enhance and improve the provision of equipment to patients in 1 single visit

2) Help Community Equipment store(CES) to meet their delivery targets

3) Reduce the number of contacts for the Community Therapy Service (CTS) thus improving cost efficiency.

4) Set up satellite store in CTS so that all staff could take smaller pieces of equipment out for assessment and leave so patients are safely provided with equipment on same day

In the last 12 months, how has the nominee used innovation to successfully change practice or improve results?

A CTS rehab assistant noticed the availability of delivery vans on certain afternoons. A pilot was proposed. Competency of proposed staff was assured. An audit was undertaken to determine the provision of a satellite store.

Processes for assessment, ordering and delivery of equipment were reviewed and simplified for both CTS and CES. CTS are heavy users of CES so this has had a positive knock on effect in that the need for individual delivery of equipment by CES has been reduced.

How was the need for innovation identified?

Pressure to provide timely assessment and provision of equipment prior to patient admission to the Independent Treatment Centre. The majority of these patients were considerably younger than the usual cohort and so were still working. Access during normal working hours was difficult. An approach was made to CES to see if it was possible for CTS staff to use the vans. Generally, return visits to patients and also to CES were driving up mileage costs and were expensive in terms of clinical time spent driving.

In what way have actions or practice been innovative?

Improved and enhanced service to patients – extended hours and same day delivery. Extended roles for rehab assistants. Maximised use of available resources. Reduced costs in terms of clinical resource and mileage.

In what way has this innovation made a difference, and to whom?

To patients:-

  • They have only been inconvenienced by one visit
  • It has extended service provision beyond office hours.
  • Same day delivery
  • Timely provision of equipment prior to hospital admission which offers reassurance to patients.

To provider services :-

  • Improved delivery times for CES. Fewer deliveries direct to patients to further free up resources
  • CTS although 2 staff have attended it has been 1 visit in all,
  • Overall mileage has been reduced,
  • Reduced need for follow up visits.
  • Satellite store – Equipment is instantly available and so all CTS staff can take smaller pieces with them for assessment, delivering same day provision. Supports further service development e.g. Emergency Response

Thanks to Wirral PCT for this example - of a scheme and the idea.

03 July 2009

NHS Innovating (South East)

NHS Innovations - South East: Case studies


Not many on this site yet - but watch it grow... (I hope!)

One example from the list:

‘Your Life’ – Education Pack is a form of community mental health provision for adults and young people. Referrals come from primary care, education, adult mental health, social services and the voluntary sector. Individuals are encouraged to take responsibility for positive change in their lives and taught to do this in a non-threatening way. Courses for small groups are based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. They are video-taught and facilitated by trained, non-medical personnel. The courses are run in community venues and are delivered over a number of sessions. The use of non-medical staff and operating in a community-setting means that the courses are inexpensive and cost-effective. The team has had very positive feedback from clients....

More at: http://www.innovationssoutheast.nhs.uk/downloads/9_NISE_Life.pdf

Let's Move

"Let's Move" was developed by Clare Kettlewell and Karen Craig, Paediatric Occupational Therapists from NHS Dumfries and Galloway, working closely with families and schools to assist children's skills and learning.

The programme is designed to meet the many needs of children of various ages and developmental stages as well as those with diagnoses such as autism spectrum disorders, developmental co-ordination disorder and other developmental conditions.

More information: http://www.scottishhealthinnovations.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=187&Itemid=67

More information on other innovations in the overall website: http://www.scottishhealthinnovations.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=189&Itemid=261

The Gateway Experience (Signed) - Kent TV

This film is about Kent's very own Gateways system, providing a range of public sector services under one roof. (Sign Language Version.)

Not exactly a 'small' but certainly a creative idea for reshaping citizen access to a whole range of local / national services. I like the fact that this is signed as well - reflecting the accessibility of the whole service.

My only gripe is the constant use of the word 'customer' when they should be using the word 'citizen' in my opinion. Whilst I believe in good customer service, of course. In my view - the public services do not have customers in the same way as say Pizza Hut has customes - where you pay your money and get some food. The relationship between citizens and our public services is a much more complex one. I have expanded on this point on my other blog:

That said I recommend a visit to the Kent TV site - a good example of services being delivered to the public in a way that makes sense to the public.

UPDATE: Just to let you know - the Kent TV site may soon be closing down (http://www.localgov.co.uk/index.cfm?method=news.detail&id=86356)

02 July 2009

Dignity in Care good practice event

Kirklees Council Adult Services was invited to a July event to showcase its work in Dignity in Care which is an initiative designed to make sure that older people in care are treated with respect.

This regional event took place on July 1 and was attended by the ‘Dignity Ambassador’ Sir Michael Parkinson; Minister of State for Care Services, Phil Hope; Minister for Pensions and the Ageing Society, the Rt Hon. Rosie Winterton, and other Dignity champions.

A key part of the event was the ‘Dignity Activity Market Place’ where examples of good practice from across two regions were exhibited. There was also a ‘Question Time’ panel chaired by Sir Michael Parkinson and a forum theatre...

More information: http://www2.kirklees.gov.uk/news/onlinenews/newsdesk/fullstory.aspx?id=1190

Excellent stuff - but it would have been helpful to have a link to the details of the good practice...