What was the programme about?

Delivering through Improvement differs from other service improvement and transformation programmes in the sense that we have adopted a truly co-productive approach throughout the programme.  It also differs because whilst the Institute set some objectives for the programme and we had ideas about the topics we might cover, we wanted to ensure that the programme was driven by the needs of the chief executives. Its content, pace and frequency of events has been shaped by the need of the chief executives. Delivering through Improvement evolved through working in close partnership with the chief executives, leading management consultants, individuals with expertise in leadership development and transformational change and academic experts.  

The NHS Institute supported the network through a series of workshops and 1:1 coaching around the topics of personal leadership development and transformational change. The chief executives have visited world class organisations and heard from leading experts from other healthcare systems and other industries.  We have also provided expertise directly at their trusts to engage their executive teams and leaders of service improvement.  The topics we have covered over the last eighteen months include:

  • Setting out and communicating vision, strategy and plans in a way that engages staff through writing and sharing a uniquely engaging type of ‘transformation story. (see transformation story documents)
  • Linking transformational aspirations with radical redesign of front line services to deliver exceptional results (see pathway improvement documents)
  • Engaging staff to develop a plan of action that sits behind the change story and makes it real
  • Coaching and workshops from leading experts to develop and expand transformational leadership skills.
  • Opportunities to share with and draw on the experiences of other chief executives.  
  • Developing their own coaching skills to motivate staff to perform at their best
  • Learning from other healthcare systems and organisations outside of healthcare.
As well as setting the vision and developing a transformation strategy, the chief executives suggested that a 'common cause' would be a powerful way of harnessing the potential of working together as a network.  It would also be a way to demonstrate more immediate and measurable improvements.  They chose to focus on improving care pathways and the first two pathways were fractured neck of femur and acute stroke.  We wanted staff in the trusts to develop improvement skills for themselves rather than rely on experts whose presence in the organisation is time limited and so we created a Network Academy to provide support and training for the pathway improvement leads.  The Academy was a great success and its members have developed a unique set of skills that they have been able to put into practice.