United Lincolnshire Hospitals on embedding a ‘What matters to you?’ approach

Type: Case Study

ULH NHS Trust reflect on the effect of implementing a WMTY approach and training staff in this area.

We wanted to introduce the WMTY(this link will take you away from our website) principle into United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (this link will take you away from our website) because it is a person centred approach to delivering care, that captures hearts and minds in its vision and aspiration. We also have aspirations for quality improvement to be our usual way to do things and to implement change. So we decided to use our Quality Service Improvement Redesign (QSIR) programme(this link will take you away from our website) to help staff build their quality improvement knowledge and skills but also build their confidence to have a go at implementing those changes they know will make a difference to their patients and their staff. It seemed a great win-win situation to use QSIR to be the vehicle to implement the WMTY principle.

At the ward leaders meeting, 10 volunteers were sought to do this, and we accepted the 12 that stepped forward. So they all embarked on the QSIR virtual programme and were introduced to the WMTY principle in an introductory meeting with Tommy Whitelaw, ALLIANCE National Lead for Caring and Outreach, and with the Deputy Director of Nursing.

We have spent time working through ‘why’ we are doing this, using the model ‘start with why’ from Simon Sinek (this link will take you away from our website). Answering this question helps everyone stay focused and honest about why it’s important to do this, why it matters to us and what a difference it will make. We are emotionally invested in making this happen, but engaged with the 12 teams to do this in a way that works for them and their patient group. This is not a one size fits all approach and it was important that staff built confidence to do this and share their improvement journey through the introduction of a storyboard.

Each team worked through how and what they would do to introduce this principle to their areas and there was a variety of ideas. One such idea was the wipe clean hand sized Board developed for the patients at the local Hospice. This was such a simple but effective idea that generated interest across the group and nationally across Twitter.

Another idea was to use the principle to ask staff what matters to them, a number of wards have done this to support the development of their team vision and ethos and to remind themselves that staff are vitally important as care givers to be heard and cared for. This has been displayed through hand held Boards, or through ward trees, where their expressions of what matters are displayed.

The cohort of staff also selected their own song, which is played at the start and end of each QSIR session, again reminding and reinforcing to them why they are doing this and why the WMTY principle’ matters’.

It works because it comes from hearts and minds of the teams that are introducing this to their areas. They know their own story and believe in the difference they can make.

We have a few clinical teams across the Trust looking to implement and embed the principle of ‘What Matters to You’ within their ward/department area.

The changes they have included so far:

  • The introduction of a daily chat with the patients in the Hospice around what matters to them that day
  • Asking staff and patients in the Emergency Department at Pilgrim what matters most to them and how to stay well at work, and how to ensure patients are having a positive experience whilst in the department
  • Ensuring women presenting through the Day Case Unit in the gynaecology ward are receiving care in the right environment for them.

Our WMTY approach helped staff to play out in practice what they hold in their hearts and minds, helped them to be proud that what we do is about, for and with patients, it’s about that service and care delivery being ‘person centred’. It also helped us to see what matters to staff because very often we never ask that question. So the principle of person centred care extends to ourselves and our patients and we know that if staff are well cared for then this directly impacts on the care that patients receive. There is power in this.

A key aspect of the learning has been ensuring that staff understand the ‘why’ part of this and then using that energy to harness the power of their ideas and desire to make the change, allowing them to try it out in a way that works for them and to not impose a one size fits all approach. Using the QSIR framework, we will be measuring the impact on patient experience as we continue to deliver this in each area and to use the learning from that as we move forwards with the continued implementation of the WMTY principle across the Trust.

Our next step will be to seek further clinical area volunteers to take the principle of WMTY to their ward and Dept. areas to build on the work already started and the learning from their peers to spread the idea and successes that they are each experiencing.

We can’t wait…

This case study was written by Angie Davies, Deputy Director of Nursing at ULH

Featured in the photo is Sister Cathie Alcock