EQUIP: making Tower Hamlets the best place to work, and the best place to receive care.

The world of General Practice is currently under significant pressure. Across the board budgets are being cut, and resources constrained. ‘On top of this, practices face a rapidly growing population, thus in turn increasing demand for GP services. The growing population has different health needs from those of the past, forcing practices to re-evaluate the efficacy of their business models and clinical processes. As a result of these challenges, practice staff are under unprecedented levels of stress, leading to recruitment and retention challenges.

Our response to these conditions is to roll up our sleeves, and address these issues head on. The EQUIP (Enabling Quality Improvement in Practice) programme is designed to do just that, by providing practice staff with the tools to create meaningful and lasting change. This is done by allowing practices to work on what matters most to them through a tried and tested Quality Improvement methodology. By doing this, we hope to improve the lives of staff and develop a culture within practices that values bottom-up change and continuous improvement. We also hope that we will make General Practice resilient and effectively able to manage current challenges and variation, and lead change so it can deliver even better care to patients in the future’.

Our Latest Newsletter (11/02/2019)

Do you want to be EQUIPped with something to track your practice’s joy?

Good and frustrating news today – ending on a high, of course. Where we need volunteers to benefit from a new gadget. Here goes:


EQUIP’s main aim has been, from day 1, joyMaking Tower Hamlets the best place to work (ie most joyful) and to receive care. And we now know that EQUIP practices in Tower Hamlets are joyful, more joyful than the rest of the country!!! And you have helped us understand this, by answering our endless joy surveys, and letting us track your feelings in time. Because joy, intangible as it may be, is absolutely something we should measure (don’t skim over the chart below – savour it – it’s a minor miracle):

…Frustrating news

Whist the joyful trend is good, our “confidence intervals” (which tell us how much we can rely on our data) are getting worse. We are getting fewer responses, so we are less able to rely on results. Yes, you heard it heard first… Your replies to our joy survey have started to dwindle. No, really. Seems like you don’t want to answer nine questions a few times each year. Sigh. Ok, ok, we hear you….. Back to the joyful drawing board, with teeth only slightly clenched…

Ending on a high: our offer to six practices

We are keen on understanding what works best for you in terms of measuring joy, meaning, how you feel at the end of the day. How things feel, and how they’re moving. Our best efforts, in partnership with the GP Care Group, have landed on three ways of measuring joy, and in true QI fashion we are going to test each method with two practices:

  1. Placing a “touch pod” next to your staff exit – each time you leave the building, you tell us how you’re feeling on a scale from 1-5. You may have seen these gadgets next to, erm, airport toilets. (Hiding face in my hands here)

  1. Using an app that you and your staff would load onto your smartphones, called Improve Well. This has been used quite successfully in oodles of healthcare organizations in the UK (including Barts, Guys, etc), and essentially pops up with a daily reminder to share your levels of perceived joy, whilst also being a platform where you can share ideas for improvement that would make your practice even better, and feed into your local QI work.

  1. Installing a pop-up on your practice computers, so that when you log out of your Tower domain, you are asked one question on how you feel in order to log out. Quick and easy!

FOR ACTION: we are looking for two volunteer practices for each of these ways of measuring joy. We would probably pilot the solution for a month or so. If you are keen testing one of the solutions, please drop me a reply email. And if you have a specific preference for one of the three options, happy to oblige if you’re the first to bid.

In return, we will give you live feedback on daily joy in your practice, and with your coaches you can consider how this might impact your improvement work, and the support you can access through EQUIP.

Curious to know how happy you  and your team are? So are we – let’s find out together! Drop me a line.