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Leadership and shared vision “key” for 7-day service, NHS Improving Quality says

Leadership and shared vision “key” for 7-day service, NHS Improving Quality says

Strong leadership and a shared vision is "key" for commissioners and providers to implement seven-day service, NHS Improving Quality said in a new report
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Strong leadership and a shared vision is "key" for commissioners and providers to implement seven-day service, NHS Improving Quality (IQ) said in a new report.

To support the delivery of seven-day care, NHS IQ commissioned Mott MacDonald to interview national representatives of health and social care who had made progress, “to determine the key enablers and barriers in delivering change”.

They found that strong system leadership working together across teams is “the foundation” to implement change, and common purpose and delivery objectives are key to this. For example, senior commissioners and providers in Sheffield made a shared plan for hospital, primary, community and voluntary services working with Trusts, the local authority, the voluntary sector, patients and the GP provider organisations.

“The whole systems approach has led to agreed targets for increasing capacity in primary and community care in order to prevent admission and facilitate earlier discharge, and shared decision making as to investment required across the system to deliver the needed scale and functionality at local levels,” the report, titled Seven Day Services,said.

This shared vision is “crucial” in motivating staff to initiate change and to sustain momentum throughout the transformation, the report read, and without it could “jeopardise seven day service transformation”.

A “common tactic” for this was asking staff if they feel confident in a positive outcome, and using initiatives like Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s concept of walking the patient journey, so staff could understand the factors that cause patients discomfort and delays.

Other effective delivery methods included: using metrics to track the impact of change across all partner organisations; empowering and encouraging staff at all levels to identify improvement opportunities and take initiative; and data sharing across organisations.

For example, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust asked its divisional staff to create six and 12 month plans for implementing initiatives for seven-day service.

The full analysis from NHS IQs research on seven-day service will take place during autumn 2015, and NHS IQ will then publish the full report. See the current report in full here.

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