In a report published today, the King’s Fund argues that the NHS urgently needs to adopt a quality improvement strategy if it is to rise to the challenge of “bringing about improvements in patient care at a time of growing financial and workload pressures”.
The report is written by Chris Ham, Don Berwick and Jennifer Dixon and it has a number of important messages for NHS organisations about the need to build “in-house capacity for quality improvement” and to “commit time and resources to acquiring the necessary capabilities”.
The report is timely for us as it supports much of what ‘Be the Change’ is about – practicing quality improvement and inclusiveness – ensuring everyone has an opportunity to contribute and act on ideas for improvement.
You can read the full report here.
The report has a lot of recommendations for the creation of a strategy in the future and there are many helpful suggestions for the NHS in England (much like the original Berwick report written in 2013).
It also supports many of the themes the we have been talking about in this blog for a few months now. For example, today’s report describes certain “common features” of organisations that have started on this journey already, including:
- Cultures in which quality and safety of patient care are valued and leaders work together to bring about improvements in care
- Continual reduction of fear in the workforce, and total engagement in the design and redesign of work and processes
- Specific and quantified goals for improving care linked to a compelling vision of the future
- Systematic, transparent measurement and reporting of progress in delivering these goals
- The use of an established method of quality improvement, supported by training all staff and all leaders in this method
- Clinical leadership, teamwork and engagement at all levels together with high quality management support
- Boards and senior leaders who accept personal responsibility for quality and safety
- A commitment to listening to and learning from the experiences of patients and carers and assuring their full participation in design, redesign, assessment and governance
I think we have a come a long way on our quality improvement journey at ASPH and, although we have a lot more to do, it is useful and encouraging to hear so many familiar messages coming from Prof. Don Berwick and others.
Let us know what you think in the comments section below.