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 (19/08/2019)

Holiday reading

Afternoon all!

It’s the middle of the summer so I thought I’d share some of the EQUIP team’s favourite things to read, listen and watch whilst you relax on the white sands of a tropical paradise, warm waves lapping at your feet as you sip an ice-cold piña colada* (*insert your preferred mock/cocktail here).  Or, if you’re fresh back from your holibobs, sitting under a brolly sheltering from the rain and looking at the image below.


“Damn you Steve!”

First up we have a delightful amuse bouche by Brené Brown. Researcher. Storyteller and our absolute favourite Texan.  Here’s what Brené’s got to say about blame, y’all. “Hi, my name’s Brené and I’m a blamer…”

“when you are lost, any map will do”

Now for the main course.  I graduated from Manchester Medical School in 1999, the same year that Don ‘The Don’ Berwick delivered Escape Fire, his keynote speech at the 11th Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care.  I wish I’d found this piece and read it back then, though in truth I don’t think I would have had the sense to really take it on board (back then I wore my flowing locks in a ponytail. Enough said).

Anyway, 20 years on this speech is still as relevant as the day it was given.  Don tells a very good story, and this is a very personal account of his wife, Ann’s, interactions with US healthcare during a serious illness. It’s a real call-to-action for those working in health and care that highlights the need to improvise and the importance of respectful interaction – talking to each other, and really listening so we can make sense of problems and solve them.

He calls for us to regard information transfer as a key form of care: “The medical record properly belongs to the patient, not to the care system. It must become an open book to the patient, available without restriction, hesitation, or suspicion”.  As of June 2019, 11.4% of people registered with Tower Hamlets GP practices have online access to their medical record.  That leaves 296,409 people that don’t have access their medical record… yet!

The happy secret to better work

Next we lighten things up with a TED talk.  Shawn Achor, who specialises in speaking very quickly, takes us on a very funny tour where he reverses the accepted formula that if you work hard = success and happiness.  He highlights the impact that optimism levels, social support and the ability to see stress as a challenge not a threat, have on productivity and decision-making. Rounding off with a challenge: practical tools that if used for 2 minutes a day for 21 days can help you work more optimistically and successfully.  Time to get journaling…

One for the visual learner

Last, but most definitely not least, a publication from closer to home. An illustrated guide to Quality Improvement from those folks at ELFT.  A whistle-stop refresher that takes the reader from “what is quality improvement?” through to “joyful leadership” via “the principles of managing flow”.  Perfect reading for the sun-lounger.

Speaking of managing flow – where did I put that pinã colada?

Enjoy the rest of your summer holidays wherever you may be.