As the NHS celebrates its 65th birthday, the sun is beginning to set on the NHS of old. We are entering the dawn of a new era and are about to embark upon the two biggest programmes of change that any of us will ever likely see during our careers (1) planning for a new acute hospital and (2) integration of health and social care. There has never been a more exciting time to be an employee in NHS D&G.
Change, like it or not, it is going to happen. The following are some key
“buzz” words that we keep hearing about in relation to change:-
TRANSFORMATIONAL – a marked change, as in appearance or character, usually for the better.
INNOVATION – notion of doing something different rather than doing the same thing better
RADICAL – relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something far-reaching or thorough.
DYNAMIC – A force that stimulates change or progress within a system or process.
The management Gurus’ are currently out there in their droves selling this concept. Now, don’t get me wrong, whilst I very much believe that delivering an NHS fit for the future does require all of the above, I sometimes wonder what happened to good old fashioned common sense to deliver change?
I have asked myself four simple questions:-
Would common sense enable us to:-
1. Deliver safe and effective care?
2. Deliver efficiency savings?
3. Enhance patient experience?
4. Motivate and develop staff?
Answer: Of course it jolly well would !!
Is it that common sense is just not trendy enough? Is it such an unmarketable concept for our modern management Gurus? Has it really been left behind in 19 canteen when there were only 3 channels on the T.V., when music came in the form of vinyl and when kids actually played outside and skint their knees?
Like everyone I love a bit of nostalgia but surely common sense is something we can all pull out of the closet, dust down and utilise to its full potential, when required.
There was non-significant event, a few days ago, which got me thinking. To cut a long story short, I was dashing about in my usual style trying to juggle various bits and pieces all at once when I found a gentleman wandering down the Admin Corridor looking lost, so I stopped and asked if he needed help. Basically, he was in a dilemma about not making visiting time to see a relative. I sat in the front foyer with the gentlemen and his wife and took 5 mins out of my day to listen to their story. I was able to source the relevant information for them and found a solution to their dilemma. They were very grateful for my help.
The easiest thing would have been for me to make my excuses and run. After all, I had another 101 things to be getting on with. However, common sense prevailed, I lent a helping hand when needed, for the greater good. This resulted in a positive experience for the couple’s encounter with NHS D&G and a positive experience for myself in the form of the words “thank you”.
This in itself is by no means transformational, radical, innovative or even dynamic. However, imagine if every single encounter people had with NHS D&G provided a positive experience for patients and staff alike, now that definitely would be transformational change!
What I am really trying to say is don’t get baffled by management speak and this year’s trend and play on words. It’s not always the big things that will deliver the changes but the little things like a smile, a helping hand, a friendly ear.
Going forward into the “new world” we need to acknowledge that change is inevitable, it is coming to a place near you pretty soon. However, don’t fret, applying good old fashioned common sense to help where we can and when we can will allow us to take the steps towards the transformational, radical change that is required.
After all, it is you and me that are tomorrow’s patients and how satisfying will it be knowing that we have contributed to the transformation of the NHS…
Stephanie Mottram is a Service Development Manager for Acute and Diagnostics at NHS Dumfries and Galloway