The aftermath of Covid, and the ongoing pandemic of chronic diseases and co-morbidity, is forcing the NHS to go through a period of significant transformation and turbulence.
For an exhausted workforce, even small changes can be difficult to accept and embed – let alone a radical change programme spanning the entire NHS aiming to integrate all individual organisations within our health and care system.
Continual small change programmes make busy frontline staff weary and frustrated, which is counterintuitive to the understanding that reform requires energy and devotion. Frontline staff are the key to unlocking the potential of the NHS.
IMPOWER puts frontline staff at the centre of our approach to change. Delivering at the frontline is one of the five pillars of EDGEWORK® and it is this that makes us stand out when it comes to delivering sustainable change in organisations as complex as the NHS.
Having worked in the NHS and now with IMPOWER, I believe there are three reasons how and why the two should work together to create large-scale change:
An incredibly high degree of empathy is shown every day by NHS staff to each patient, despite often challenging circumstances. IMPOWER understands that to get the best out of people, you need to work to gain their trust and then maintain their trust by showing true empathy. When we set out to build relationships with this workforce, we do it grounded in empathy and ready to empower the people who will deliver the change.
The core values of the NHS and IMPOWER are closely aligned. The NHS values all staff working together for the health service, while IMPOWER relies on all its staff working together to share knowledge, skills and learning which ensures that the shared ambition – providing the best care for patients – is realised. Commitment to quality is a daily mantra in all NHS teams, as it is at IMPOWER where quality is a key competency all staff are asked to consistently provide.
3. Strengths-based practice
Another principle of EDGEWORK® is Applied Behavioural Science which I have learnt to use in a variety of ways at IMPOWER. Being able to use it to promote strengths-based approaches to improvement, learning and change is one of the most important parts of my role. The way IMPOWER works with clients is reflected in the new models of strengths-based care and how NHS staff are expected to learn to work with patients – as clients with their own strengths who require some assistance to continue living their life, perhaps with just a little more support. IMPOWER works with the strengths of clients and maintains and builds on their assets. We recognise that this is not the easy way to create change, but the right way.
Read The EDGEWORK Manifesto to find out more about our approach to improving health and social care.