ASPH Annual QI Event 2023: #Improvement is Good for You!

On 28th June 2023 we held our annual Quality Improvement (QI) event in Chertsey House at St Peter’s Hospital. We were very excited to be all together again after 5 years, our last event was in 2018! The theme of the day was #improvementisgoodforyou, exploring how QI directly affects the wellbeing of not only our patients, but also our staff. Everyone was invited to all sessions throughout the day and encouraged to enter a QI poster competition prior to the event.
We were joined on the day by staff and members of ASPH’s executive team and also our sponsors Locums Nest and AstraZeneca and charity partners east to west, who had stalls situated within the event, throughout the day.

You can read more and watch the short highlights video below.

The day began with a welcome from our Chairman, Andy Field and a video message from Julie Smith, CEO. Sally Greensmith, Head of Quality Improvement, Keefai Yeong, Quality Improvement Clinical Lead and Director of Strategy and Sustainability, Tom Smerdon, introduced the day and set the scene for an inspiring and energising time together. Tom also made an important announcement, that the QI Team will now be known as the ASPH Improvement Partnership Team and the new branding was revealed on banners.

First up was our Keynote Speaker and newly appointed Non-Executive Director at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals, Simon Devonshire, who spoke about how entrepreneurship is important to the business of QI. Simon shared his thoughts on how technological advances within healthcare can enhance patient care and how QI is key to identifying and testing novel solutions. He spoke about the use of AI and explained that AI is not here to make us redundant, but to make us bionic!

It was great to see so much evidence of the will and capability for quality improvement in our organisation, with 38 posters entered into our QI poster competition all demonsrating  great work being done by our teams. This continued in  the next presentation section, where we heard from a number of ASPH teams who have led improvement work over the last year, working with their teams to improve patient experience and patient safety:. We heard from junior doctors, nurses, consultants, the Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership and professional leads from across the trust as well as charity partners, east to west, who run their hospital project in paediatric ED and wards, using volunteers to support young people in mental health crisis.

Later in the afternoon, after lunch, we were joined by Chief of Staff, Russell Lewis, who led an interactive QI skills activity. Russell split the room into six groups, gave each group a collection of materials and asked every team to build a tower from the ground upwards. There were some restrictions to how the ‘kit’ could be used and some groups became very focussed on the things that they were not allowed to do, causing a detrimental delay to their progress! Russell highlighted that in healthcare, we can often become frustrated with the lack of resources, but that we should look beyond this and work with what we do have, rather than being focussed on what we do not – a very good lesson for us all! This activity also highlighted that QI creates a safe space for testing and failing and that there is always learning to be had from failure.

We then enjoyed a ‘Making Data Count’ masterclass by Karen Hyllar, Senior manager for NHSE. Karen discussed the importance of focus, the problem with traditional reporting and that understanding variation matters when managing our data. 

After a quick break for tea and (homemade!) cake, the afternoon continued with the QI World Café. Here, we had 6 table presentations, all with food related titles e.g. ‘Blood Sweat and Tea (and Biscuits)' – the ED team talking about improvements within the department, ‘Jelly and Scream’ – how a new ‘wobble room’ has been established at Ashford theatres. During this activity participants moved around the different stations and spoke with subject specialists on different topics, it was a very energetic and fun session!

The event ended with the announcement the winner of the poster competition, which staff were able to vote for throughout the day. Dr Yi Sin Leong, Dr Rezmmitha Zulfihar Nazeem, Dr Aishwarya Balaji and Mr Ashwin Unithan were announced as winners with their Readmission Prevention Plan poster. There were 38 entries for the competition, and all were congratulated for their fantastic work. We closed off the day sharing thanks to all involved in making the event a success and reiterating once again just how important QI is for staff and patient wellbeing.

Overall it was a very inspiring event where the Trust’s dedicated teams and individuals were able to come together to collaborate, celebrate and explore innovative strategies to enhance the quality of care we provide. The event was a testament to our commitment to continuous improvement and our dedication to delivering excellence in healthcare here at ASPH.

We look forward to seeing you  in 2024 for our next event!