Fostering a culture of innovation
3 October 2011
In the current economic climate, every public and private sector organisation faces the same challenge—how to do more for less.
Here at Chelsea and Westminster, we must provide the excellent services that our patients rightly demand while making significant efficiency savings—our cost improvement programme for the current financial year is equivalent to 9% of our controllable costs.
Meeting this challenge has to be a team effort, involving all staff, and so we must create a culture of innovation that encourages staff at all levels and from all professions to come forward with ideas that improve the patient experience and efficiency.
Having a motivated and engaged workforce is one of the Trust's priorities for quality improvement this year. This reflects the growing body of evidence that shows a clear correlation between staff engagement and high quality patient care.
That is why today I am launching an exciting new initiative to encourage frontline staff to submit their ideas to what we are calling our Directors' Den—staff who come up with the best ideas will be given funding to turn them into reality.
Directors' Den is loosely based on the hit BBC TV show Dragons' Den and staff will be given the opportunity to present their ideas to a group of 'dragons' (or in our case directors) including myself and one of our Non-Executive Directors, Sir Geoff Mulcahy, who has had a hugely successful career in the private sector.
I hope that Directors' Den will capture the imagination of our staff—from cleaners to consultants—and foster an innovative spirit among Trust staff and staff who may be employed by others, including ISS Mediclean, Norland Managed Service and Imperial College, but who we regard as very much part of the Chelsea and Westminster team.
Innovative ways of doing things differently and a multi-disciplinary, partnership approach are at the heart of our shortlisting for a number of this year's prestigious Health Service Journal Awards—the NHS Oscars.
As a Trust we have been shortlisted for Research Culture, which includes our hosting of the North West London Health Innovation and Education Cluster (HIEC) and the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for North West London—both involve numerous organisations working in partnership to share innovative ideas.
We have also been shortlisted for our Acute Oncology Service which has transformed the treatment of cancer patients admitted to the hospital with acute medical conditions under the leadership of Consultant Dr Tom Newsom-Davis and Catherine Gillespie, our Clinical Cancer Services Manager and Macmillan Lead Nurse.
And the NHS North West London Integrated Care Pilot, in which we are a partner to improve the care of patients aged 75 and over and those living with diabetes by breaking down the boundaries between hospital care, community services and GPs, has been shortlisted for a further two awards.
All this shows that a culture of innovation is alive and well at Chelsea and Westminster, looking beyond the walls of the hospital to work with our partners in health and social care, education and the private sector—I hope that the Directors' Den will encourage our staff to come forward with some great ideas to further improve services.
I would welcome your comments on this blog and anything to do with Chelsea and Westminster—please do get in touch with me via our Head of Communications Matt Akid email@example.com.
My next blog entry will be on Monday 17 October.