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Improving quality by investing in you

01 Mar 2016

Dear colleagues,

Do you believe that work should be enjoyable? And is it? It’s a serious question – and one we need to ask ourselves in all honesty if we are going to deliver real and enduring quality improvement in West London Mental Health Trust.

Improving quality is our number one priority. Engaging everyone in the work of quality improvement is at the heart of our vision to provide outstanding care to our patients, service users and carers, and support you to feel proud of your work and of the trust.

I know that the financial challenges and workload pressures that you face are real and there is a genuine urgency to us finding a better way to address these challenges at the same time.

That is why we are bringing in the world’s foremost experts, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), next week to support us in developing a quality improvement programme that is right for us. They aren’t inspectors and they aren’t offering a top-down improvement programme. This isn’t just about saving money or finding low-cost solutions.

This is about investing in you and supporting you to develop local quality improvement initiatives that result in real change.

Take a look at the new screensavers on your computer that promote quality improvement and bust a few myths about it too – in a light-hearted way.

Improving quality markYou may also notice we have a new ‘Improving Quality’ logo – it’s like a kite-mark that identifies the good work we are doing as a trust to improve quality and I hope you’ll use it to raise awareness of our many initiatives. The updated style guidelines are published today on the Exchange.


So how can IHI help us improve quality when so many improvement initiatives in the NHS have failed? IHI starts from the belief that work should be personally rewarding.

They will help us develop an approach to quality improvement that is inclusive and allows you to share your ideas that focus on patient needs and successfully implement them. They’ll help us provide good training and development for you so that you can trial and test your ideas and turn learning into action. And most importantly they want to help us develop and value team work and ensure you feel fulfilled in your job.

It really works. NHS trusts such as East London, Salford Royal and Northumbria have systematically developed quality improvement programmes, and they deliver better outcomes for patients at lower costs and their staff are more motivated and happier in their work.

IHI will be in the trust for three days from next Monday and they’ll be holding wide-ranging conversations with many of you as well as with service users, carers and our partners. They want to know what we think about the quality of care we provide, how we want to improve it and what support they can give us so that we can achieve our vision and ambition to be an outstanding healthcare provider.

This is a new way of thinking for all of us and I’m sure you will have lots of questions, ideas and possibly doubts. Here are some useful links to information about IHI and quality improvement that you might find helpful to look at before 7 March.

I hope you’ll welcome IHI with an open mind and support this exciting, new initiative.

Best wishes