Sunday, May 12, 2013

Phase 2

Was just an idea, nothing more..floated by our departmental dietetic colleague, Sue Beaden while we had one of our Type 1 diabetes team meetings about "improving the service". And then it developed...the rest got involved, I did what I do best...the publicity, the showcasing...and as if in a blur, the day arrived. An event where patients could meet with all concerned, the specialist team, the community team, psychologist, podiatrist and in the new NHS the GP commissioner and his team. No lectures but a genuine chance to interact..listen..learn..develop.Sounds like fantasy? Sounds like something those umpteen conferences and leadership course exhort us to do but without any concrete examples? Well, it did actually happen. I am not going to spend time here saying what it was for patients with type 1 diabetes...simply because I don't have type 1 diabetes. If you want to hear their thoughts or even the thoughts of a parent of child with type 1 diabetes, read here and here.

My blog is about one from the professionals point of view. Firstly, as the team lead, you had to stand back and pay respect to the team who had given up a Saturday morning to be there. Voluntarily. Without any remuneration. Coasting, did you say? Some of the sound byte generators needed to be at St James Hospital on the 11th May. So at the risk of repeating myself, it is nothing but a privilege to be allowed to lead such a team. Is there a better job out there? Perhaps. Is there a better team out there? No chance.

Then came the event itself..the feedback received has been excellent...but from my own perspective, it was a pleasure to see Laura stand up and speak. Clearly a source of inspiration for many- an example of what can be done if one wants to. Our team's job as with Laura is the same for everyone with type 1 diabetes.."we are here when you are ready; we are here when you need us". As part of the speed dating exercise I hopped around 7 tables..8 minutes felt so little...but so much was learnt. the need for 24/7 cover prompted by errors in spite of all educational tools thrown at other areas of hospital, the need for supporting primary care better, the need for avoiding reduplication of results, the need for better information exchange with primary care, the need to explain to primary care that Type 1 and Type 2 are different pathologies...this wasn't our national "leaders" telling us, this was patients, for whom we do this job, telling us to make it a bit easier. In between them, there was some glowing feedback about the service, other members of the team..I already knew Iain Cranston was one of the most patient focussed doctors I have ever met..hearing that from one of his patients made it even more concrete. In one word, simply put...humbled.

The event itself could not have been better timed either as events reflected in my last blog emphasises  Lots of kind words, emails and texts have been sent to me, expressing support, some theorising about conspiracy theories, some stating it's time to look after only one person- myself. Which does need clarification...there has been no skulduggery, high end Machiavellian politics, prejudice which has resulted in me losing out.Even if there was, I have no desire to know more either. To suggest so is to demean the person who has got the job. On the day, the better person won. End of story.

Its time to move on and make this the best diabetes service in the business, one based on patient thoughts, ideas and one which shows good outcomes.My flirtation with management outside diabetes is over, and has helped me to focus back on an area which clearly needs much more to be done, locally and nationally. In this new era of the NHS where boundaries are being blurred, if we can develop a service of pride, why be limited to only Portsmouth and Hampshire? Why can't we lead the change and cascade the ideas to everywhere else? Why indeed can't we get to the level of say Bournemouth, Leicester or Sheffield everywhere?

The BMJ Awards night suggested we were one of the top 4 teams in the country both in diabetes and Leadership. I took time to speak to the winners- and what stood out were their outcomes. So the next step is indeed about just that. The patient conference was the first step...this is Phase 2 of my Portsmouth Diabetes team project.

We will, indeed, one day, be the best. With a team like that behind me, there is no way that won't happen. I absolutely promise you that.

1 comment:

  1. Well done QA and thanks once again for putting on the event and letting me attend, even though strictly speaking I shouldn't have. I gained a lot from the day.