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Quality Improvement Manchester Workshop

Question from Care Opinion

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picture of Cally Bowman

We recently hosted our first event of the year in Manchester on January 30th. Our workshop was focused around how online feedback can be used in quality improvement.

We were lucky to have guests attend from all over the country and from a range of organisations, from mental health services, to CCGs, healthwatches and charities.

If you know us, you know we like to keep everyone in the loop, so here's our blog to tell you all about the event plus the slides from our speakers:

First things first, the Care Opinion team headed to Manchester!Image title

Before we knew it all of our guests had arrived and we were ready for our first talk of the day.Image titleShaun Maher, Principal Educator, Quality Improvement Team, NHS Education for Scotland joined us to explain how stories shared on Care Opinion are influencing his quality improvement work.Image title

Shaun spoke to us about how stories are used in quality improvement in Scotland. Shaun explained that "Care Opinion provides a fantastic space for attentiveness. It helps us build trust and improve."

"We don't have a measurement for the shift in culture that comes through the engagement with these stories, but it is significant." Shaun gave us an example of a story in which just 24 hours after the person shared their story a response was posted, then a change was made and further response posted to let the author know. Here are Shaun's slides.

Following an inspiring start from Shaun it was back to basics with James exploring the key values and principles of Care Opinion, explaining not just why, but how we do what we do, beginning with our vision, mission and values.

Image titleJames then explained that when a story is shared, an email alert is sent to all the relevant people who have asked to hear about it, from trusts, CCGs & Healthwatches, to MPs, universities and research institutes. James also touched on the importance of responding to stories in a way that is constructive, compassionate and that can lead to shared learning and change.

Samantha Whelan, patient experience midwife, was the next speaker who shared with us her experience of using Care Opinion as part of a project to support quality improvement in the maternity department at Royal Oldham Hospital. The pilot project was so successful that it is now going to continue so that more improvements can be made and more people can share their stories. To learn more about this project, and the quality improvement measures that it created, please see here. Samantha inspired the room by talking through not only the achievements and outcomes but also how she was able to tackle boundaries and difficulties that arose.Image titleSamantha said "We have a closed Facebook group which enables me to share the stories directly with staff which has been fantastic. Putting positive stories on and seeing staff congratulating each other is so lovely".Image titleIf you'd like to learn more about Sam's work with Care Opinion, you can take a look at her presentation, or have a read of Sam's blog.

Following Sam's presentation it was my turn to share some of the exciting new Care Opinion features that have been designed to support quality improvement work. For more information see my presentation, or if you'd like to know more about accessing these features then please do get in touch at

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Our next speaker was Adele Fox, Head of Clinical Operations at Rampton Hospital, who shared her team's innovative work in using Care Opinion to listen to patients in order to improve the service and patient experience in a high secure hospital setting. Adele explained that after reading stories, she and her team were able to pick out key themes and explore them further, for example one big theme was staff attitude, which came from staff having to say no to certain things. As a result, the team developed how they explain the reasoning behind why they have to say no in a way that is understandable to people with learning disabilities. These simple and small changes can have a big impact on the patient's lives.

Image titleTo Learn more about how Rampton Hospital work with Care Opinion you can read more in Adele's blog; Using Care Opinion in high secure services & the follow up blog from Nigel Groves, Involvement and Experience Lead, Forensic Services, How the Involvement Team bridges the gap between service users and Care Opinion in high secure services or take a look at Adele's presentation.

Our final speaker, Laura Sheard from the Bradford Institute of Health Research, shared her research on how hospital staff learn from and act on patient experience. You can see part of Laura's talk over on periscope.

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Laura's research highlighted the importance of staff being able to access the content of feedback shared within a service, and that there is currently a large amount of focus on the quantity of feedback and response rates rather than quality. Laura also spoke to the group about "the lovely nurses problem" and how it can be difficult to learn from large numbers of generic positive feedback and that this feedback rarely guides improvement. Laura summarised the solutions and recommendations that resulted from her study on the slide belowImage titleSee Laura's full presentation here.

Next up it was discussion time! Our delegates were each asked to bring a story along with them to share in groups, and to discuss the different learning opportunities that each story presented. This was a really interesting task as some people would spot opportunities for change, engagement and quality improvement that others didn't and vice versa. This exercise really showed the value of shared learning and the need to carefully read and hear what the story author is saying to pick out the changes that can be made and the learning opportunities highlighted.

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Finally, James rounded things off for the day by explaining Care Opinion's next steps and thanking everyone for coming to what was a really interesting workshop with a great group of people.

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