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Improvement is simple

Improvement is simple.

That is one of the messages I took from a fascinating event today.  It was a welcome for new members of the Q improvement community, which is sponsored by the Health Foundation and NHS Improvement.  However, that wasn’t the whole message.

One of the speakers was from Unipart (did you know they provided consultancy in health?  On the basis of this presentation, worth checking out).  What struck me was the similarity between the core features of their approach and the messages we were giving out from the IDeA and Audit Commission a decade ago:

  • Vision; committed leadership; engaged people; systematic use of tools; infrastructure; time and benefits.
  • Vision; leadership; coherent and integrated framework; culture; crystal clear priorities; focus on making a difference; robust, balanced and accessible performance reporting; learning; time.

(Does it matter if I don’t tell you which is which?)

This was important to me, as I always worried whether we had got the right messages, even though they were based on research and feedback from practitioners (but still, had we seeded the thoughts in the minds of our interviewees or cherry-picked the research and key messages?).

So this gave me some reassurance about we had been saying for all those years.

But of course that’s not the whole story.  What is critical is the detail behind those broad themes.

The significance of that is encapsulated in another maxim from the past: which is the other part of the message from today.

Improvement is simple.  But it’s very hard.

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