The Benefits of Getting Together

I have been involved in three cancer pathway improvement events recently and have really seen the benefits of allowing teams time to meet together and to step back from their day to day work.  Simply getting everyone in one room has facilitated conversations and improved relationships.

The aim of these events is to review patient pathways and to develop some simple improvement action plans, but I have been really encouraged by the softer, less measurable, outcomes that have been achieved as well.

For example, I heard this week how clinical nurse specialists and admin teams are now communicating much more effectively in order to expedite patient tests and appointments. This has come about through taking time at the event to better understand each other’s roles and building those relationships.

It has been clear at the events that everyone is united in their passion for great patient care and they share a common purpose, which is a great basis for moving forward with improvement.

Here are some tips for getting people together to successfully kick-off improvements:

  • Consider carefully who should be in the room; if there are decisions to be made then a key decision maker will be needed
  • But also remember to think about everyone that may affect or be affected by the work that you want to discuss; people at every level should be represented if possible
  • Choose a venue that is accessible by all; possibly away from the normal working environment
  • Make some enquires to try to find a day and time that will suit the majority; you may need to base this around your key stakeholders in order to ensure their presence
  • Provide tea and coffee, (and maybe cake!) – this is a small gesture, but helps to recognise and reward the time that people have taken out of their busy day-jobs to attend
  • Take time before the event to understand the day-to-day routines of the people involved in the pathway as well as recognising the unseen sacrifices that individuals are making in their day-jobs
  • Ensure that any actions that are agreed are followed up; it’s important for everyone to know that their time has been well spent and that improvements are being made as a result
  • Encourage the further development of new relationships formed; maybe facilitate another, smaller and more informal meeting with some of these people, just to help things along

I hope this is helpful and please leave any thoughts or feedback in the comments section below.


Sally – @Sally2PT

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