Monday 19 January 2009

Clinical Engagement

Many attempts have been made to engage clinicians and other front-line staff in service improvement in NHS.  Theories about.  But what works in one place seems as though it doesn't work in another.
All too often, a carefully planned engagement strategy finds that the clinical representatives your initiative is talking to don't have the credibility they claim, or groups previously ignored suddenly need to be considered.  I've been brought into many projects to address this, including a running course on developing clinical engagement strategies.  I can assure you - if this is the problem you face you are not alone!
It seems that some people are able to talk the right linguage - or more accurately, laungages; to show the right understanding and empathy; to identify with the issues and make people feel listened to.
Clinical engagement should be a two-way street :- 
  • the initiative can be improved by the advice and wisdom of clinicians who understand the planned service improvement, can understand it in their own context and recognise what will work and what will cause problems, and can manage the risks.
  • For their part, people who feel involved are more likely to champion the change in their environment and if the change is linked to strategic objectives for the organisation, then to ensure these objectives are achieved.
The course in clinical engagement (mentioned above) becaue a workshop hosted by local front-line clinicians, and proved far more effective.
In other cases, even though they were brought in late to an initiative, front-line staff have endorsed the planned change, have not demanded a return to the drawing board, and have ensured successful delivery.
I'd be delighted to structure and facilitate (in conjunction with your front-line staff) engagement sessions around your service improvement initiatives.  Expect faster achievement, more stickability, and more engagement with the organisation's goals.
Of course you, too, must be flexible to the changes your staff suggest

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