Podcast Episode: Near Me in social services: keeping the QI conversation going
Category: Digital inclusion
What follows is a transcription of the audio recording. Due to differences between spoken and written English, the transcript may contain quirks of grammar and syntax.
INT: Near Me in Social Services is a project Iriss has been leading in partnership with the NHS Near Me team and the Scottish Government Technology Enabled Care (TEC) Programme. The project is producing new evidence around the priorities, enablers and challenges of using video consulting in social services.
Iriss has supported five services to participate in a rapid Quality Improvement cycle to start using Near Me; provided light touch improvement support to organisations that are setting up Near Me independently within their work, and has developed a Learning Network.
The Learning Network aims to build on and continue the support to these organisations using Near Me, while increasing the scope of support to others. Each Learning Network meeting includes speakers on related topics. In this episode, Paula Quinn, Learning and Development Adviser at SSSC, speaks about keeping the Quality Improvement conversations going for those involved in using Near Me.
Paula: Hello everybody, I’m Paula Quinn, Learning and Development Advisor with the SSSC and I just wanted to give you a few thoughts around keeping this QI conversation going now that you’ve been involved in the Near Me QI project. So, just for a tiny bit of background, you will have been involved in some way or other with the SSSC, I sit within the leadership and improvement learning team which is part of that workforce development function within the SSSC. So, you may have previously been involved with other parts of the SSSC but we’re a substantial part of the SSSC, as well looking at workforce development, training, resources and best practice and I’m within the leadership and improvement learning function.
Really super quick slide for those of you that like a few numbers, take a photo of it if you want: I’m not going to go through it but just to give you an idea about where you are placed within this wider context of this amazing workforce that supports social services across Scotland. There’s over 200,000 of you and the stories and ideas and work that you generate is so valuable and we really want to be able to showcase more of that so keep that in the back of your head when you are working on new and exciting and innovative projects and solving problems for your client group.
So, really what I’m here to do today is just to give you some of my thoughts around how you keep taking steps forward with this first step into the quality improvement approach that you’ve done. And I was really struck by something that Sara said earlier on, confidence to pause, I know that was particularly in the context of a process map but if you see what my very first one is there on that: reflect on your learning from this Near Me work. Before you go moving on with, I quite like that process map or I loved this way of doing something, take a pause and reflect. Think about what you’ve learned, what worked for you, what didn’t work for you, what language about quality improvement approach brought members of your team on board and what terrified them and start to think about what your learning, as a team, is from being involved in this project.
Always a good idea to involve others and share experiences and network, you’re never alone. If you start looking for somebody who’s doing the same sort of thing: a bit of shared practice, a little bit of support, you will find so many people out there that are struggling with exactly the same conversations as you might be a bit stuck on. You might be their problem solver; they might be yours. Good ideas can come from anywhere, do not be too blinkered in the teams that you work in. You do not know which member of staff, which resident, tenant, service user, client is going to have a great idea so, involve everybody and that means that you have the best chance of coming across those idea which will work for your service which can then be embedded and become great practice that you work with day to day and you forget that it came from a bit of a QI conversation, it’s just the way you do things.
Recognise and develop skills, and I’ll come back to that on my very last slide in just a moment. But look for opportunities to understand learning, your learning, your colleagues learning, the service’s learning and use situations like your one to ones or your development conversations to recognise and embed them in as really great practice and that’s a fantastic way to help one member of staff recognise reflectively what they’ve learned or what they’ve been involved in that can help them bring another member of staff on, on their coat tails so they can share that experiences.
Evidence, I can’t say it too often, I should have probably started with evidence. If you can’t tell your story afterwards, nobody is going to know what a difference you made. How you tell that story is up to you whether it’s photographs, whether it’s quotes from somebody, whether it’s quite a detailed case study with quite a lot of information, it doesn’t really matter. Do what works for you but think at the beginning: how are we going to show the impact of what we’re doing and that is part of that pause as well. Don’t jump straight into a project. How will we evidence something and what will this mean if this change results in an improvement? And probably the most important thing in the world, you’ll get it wrong, it won’t work, and that’s not only okay, it’s brilliant because we don’t learn by getting things right the first time. We learn by having to rethink, pause, rewind, try again, why didn’t that work? Little bit of an overview. So, don’t be embarrassed or worried or scared when things don’t work, own it, embrace it, talk about why it didn’t work and that will give you so much learning for the next time that you move on.
But this is all QI, QI is not siloed, it doesn’t stand on its own. QI is part and parcel of a way that you can choose to work. So, go back to things like your leadership logic model and look for the matches within what you’ve been doing in the QI and how you’re trying to understand your own personal leadership and nurture leadership within your team and your organisation. There are loads of areas when you go back and compare some of the QI work you’ll have been doing with what’s in this leadership logic model, either behaviours that you might want to model or the way to bring other staff on or the way to support people to have good conversations that absolutely marries up.
QI is not a stand-alone thing, it’s part and parcel of what you’re already doing. It just might give you a couple of extra tools, and on that, remember that there are great leadership resources out there if you are not already using things like, Step into Leadership 23 Things or That Leadership Capability Feedback tool, go back and have another look. The learning that you’ve done throughout this process might show itself in some of the way that you access this material or use this material to reflect on your learning and pretty much finally, there are opportunities to continue your learning if this has fired you up a little bit and you’re thinking, actually this QI way of working,
Then there are formal ways to continue that learning so through NHS education for Scotland there are a suite of courses. The first course is called SIFS which is a foundation level improvement studies course, takes about 14 weeks with 7 sessions so, it’s not a huge commitment and a mini project. At the SSSC we’re running 2 cohorts, 2 groups of that starting April and May. So, we will have a lot of evidence by the summer as to whether this particular level of a qualification suits you guys in the sector because it’s people like you that we’ll be running these two test trials of this course with so watch this space with us but there are ways that you can go and learn, look at the ihub, ask around for local training. I know in Aberdeen City; there’s a load of improvement training that goes on under the communities umbrella but sharing experiences is also informal learning.
So, network with others, ask people who’s also doing some QI work and if they don’t know what that is, tell them what you’ve been doing. They might be doing it but not call it that. So, get those little networks together or join an existing network and if the existing network close to you is mostly made up of people from health that’s okay, go and join it. Bring your perspective, make it a health and social care forum that you can share your experiences because we all have a lot to learn from each other and there are some fantastic quality improvement Twitter forums so, if you use Twitter, have a little bit of a look on there and just search quality improvement, you’ll probably find something local to you or on a topic that you’re very, very interested in.
And here in the SSSC, we’re having active conversations right now both around quality improvement learning and knowledge and around quality improvement networking and what our sector needs. So, if you would like to be part of that conversation and I urge you to be part of that conversation to shape it, please drop me a quick email and then I can keep you in the loop with the conversations that we’ve got going on so, that’s my final plea. Drop me an email, be part of the conversation and good luck with all your QI work that you do, how ever small it is, it’s important: just make sure that you evidence it and you embrace all the learning from it and share it with others.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License