Whose Shoes? is a concept that gets people from all perspectives discussing important issues together as equals, regardless of roles or hierarchies.
Twitter is a bit like the on-line equivalent, although at our workshops people are (usually!) allowed to speak in more than 140 character sound-bites.
The Whose Shoes? toolkit is not specific to any one subject area. The best sessions now involve co-producing bespoke material designed to help people bring about specific improvements. A lot of our work has been, and continues to be, around dementia care. I have not had much chance to blog recently (too busy!) so am delighted to share our #100days of change story recently posted on the NHS Change Day site. As you will see, Ken Howard and I have made quite a bit of progress since launching our campaign last year and Ken has been extremely effective in breaking down stereotypes about living with dementia wherever he goes – and we have had a lot of fun together along the way.
Ken will be using our approach as part of a post-graduate certificate in co-production next week, working with GPs and patients as part of the Darzi programme. Meanwhile I will be giving a talk about blogging at the #TwitterNHS conference – see, I told you things are busy. 🙂
The NHS Change Day team has also shown a big interest in our work to improve maternity services, now known as #MatExp.
This is in partnership with the London Strategic Clinical Network and NHS England so has had potential to make a bigger impact more quickly. Over the last couple of weeks we have run a Train the Facilitator event looking at how best to roll the approach out wider, following a series of successful London pilots. They have produced a lovely booklet trying to capture the leadership and facilitation formula.
It feels great to have such fantastic partners – notably Florence Wilcock, Consultant Obstetrician at Kingston Hospital who is leading the project and Kath Evans, Patient Experience Lead at NHS England, who I think is the most can-do person I have ever come across. We are all determined that it must remain a grassroots led initiative. Only people who are really passionate and personally willing to lead local change are ‘allowed’ to run a workshop! Yes, I know, it’s a strange business model. 😉
Next week I will publish a truly fascinating and inspirational ‘in my shoes’ guest blog which will tell you more.
In the meantime it is wonderful that people coming along to our workshops are choosing to blog about the experience, and again from different perspectives. Firstly Diane Menage, a truly compassionate midwife, wrote this blog about the workshop at Lewisham Hospital.
Then Helen Calvert @heartmummy, sent these reflections after travelling down from Manchester to join our Train the facilitators session:
And now Leigh Kendall has written about the workshop at Queen’s Hospital, Romford. Leigh is Hugo’s Mummy and a wonderful writer and blogger, raising awareness of pre-eclampsia, HELLP syndrome and baby loss.
#hugoslegacy. Meeting Diane, Helen and Leigh and so many others at the workshops is a huge privilege – getting to know each other first on Twitter and then in real life.
I cannot possibly capture all the great stuff that has been happening. But there is a real energy for positive change at the moment and we need to capitalise on it, bringing more and more voices into the conversation.
At the Queen’s Hospital workshop, on the day of a public transport strike, we had 40 places – and 69 people came, some a long distance.
Kath Evans supported us yet again, providing a voice of wisdom based on all the pilot sessions as we finalise the toolkit – thanks Kath!
I was not running this particular session, but went along as a guest as Queen’s Hospital is in the area where I grew up. I was staying in London with an old school friend and we both signed up for the session. Her perspective, as a local resident, was very interesting. Queen’s Hospital are rightly very proud of their improvement record – but it sometimes takes longer for the ‘reputation’ to change with the local people and my friend was really impressed by what she heard and saw.
It gave me a chance to chat to people and link up with people from the Communications and Patient Experience teams to take a bit of video (thanks Sarah and Emma!)
Click on the video to see a session in action.
Our approach is all about local leadership: Director of Midwifery, Wendy Matthews and the whole team at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals certainly stepped up to the plate. I can feel a bit of healthy competition between the London hospitals now to make the most of the improvement opportunity. It is wonderful to hear what their ‘users’ have to say, including Felicity movingly telling her story and working with the hospital trust to ‘move from good to excellent”, which is their ambition.
Matthew Hopkins, the CEO, stayed for the whole session.
Why do people see this as unusual? Why is it assumed that the CEO will be too busy with meetings around targets and other ‘important stuff’?
What could be more important than the chance to talk, really talk, with users of your service and staff and find out how things can improve?
And news is spreading about our #MatExp lithotomy challenge!
Thank you Andy Heeps, who came to the workshop – one of a growing number of men taking our very memorable #MatExp #NHSChangeDay empathy challenge!
So far we have men in London, Scotland, the North-West and East Midlands – you know who you are! 🙂 But it is ice-bucket style … so why not suggest a colleague too!
Anyway, I have not yet told you about my fifteen seconds of fame. 😉
Yes, I had a very interesting and unplanned encounter last week, speaking to Simon Stevens, CEO of the NHS. It was filmed by the NHS Change Day team, so I might be able to get the clip at some point and add it in here.
The NHS Change Day team were doing a ‘takeover of Skipton House’ home of the Department of Health – as you do.
I was invited because our #MatExp campaign has been included as one of the ‘grassroots’ campaigns for NHS Change Day and I was particularly keen to do some more plotting with fab ‘Jenny the Midwife’ who was coming down from Blackpool and whose deeply human Skin to Skin campaign is such an important part of #MatExp.
Another really important theme that has come through loud and clear at the workshops is unhelpful language.
We have had some fantastic ‘lightbulb moments’ as health professionals ‘get it’ and reflect on how language is routinely used and the profound, and usually unintended effect it all too often has on the recipient.
And then a question surely worthy of Jeremy Paxman…
It feels as though the ensuing conversation has united everyone.
In Whose Shoes? terms, we have had responses from all backgrounds and perspectives: a groundswell of #thoughtdiversity, perhaps.
There have been moments of humour and moments of huge hurt and poignancy. We are all people, who happen to be in certain professional or formal positions (or birth positions) at different stages of our lives. We are all united by vulnerability and these conversations seem to have found this common thread that binds us all. It has been incredibly moving to be part of it, but also to observe: to see and feel the sparks flying and fantastic connections being made. A catalyst for change.
The #MatExp conversations have carried on now for days and show no signs of abating. This is just a flavour.
Words that health professionals use are never forgotten.
Poor language can traumatise.
All fuelling our #MatExp J*DI campaign!
Even last night I was sent an email with some fantastic and detailed examples of poor language, which I think will make a great guest blog.
We are proud of these fantastic conversations being generated throughout the #MatExp project ?>> campaign? >> social movement!
We were particularly thrilled that Vicki has been tweeting her very real maternity experience, sending us this lovely picture and having the whole #MatExp community wishing her well!
So my light-hearted, and yet really serious conversation with Simon Stevens, led to a huge Twitter storm about language with lots of detailed examples that health professionals can explore and respond to.
Lots of great articles have been written on the subject of language. Some new ones are being written by women joining our campaign.
I know I have missed including some of the best ones – it is all happening so fast on Twitter so let me know!
And please post comments on Patient Opinion!
Our midwife super guru Sheena Byrom has a wonderful series of videos that we are linking to on our NHS Change Day page. Here is a taster:
Sign up for our highly interactive webinar 11.00am, 26 Feb https://twitter.com/6CsLive/status/565155824977575936
What will it take to make things change so that each woman consistently gets treated with empathy, dignity and respect?
**What can YOU do?**
Do one or more specific actions as part of our
#MatExp ‘Just*Do It’ NHS Change Day campaign
which has … just gone live!
And, as I sit singing sweet lullabies to the new baby … the conversation is raging – and going global!! 🙂
And people are starting to sign up for some great actions , including Louise who ran one of our pilot workshops!
And a whole gang of people for the lithotomy challenge!