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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Thank You - Integrated Improvement Team

13/07/2020

Our Integrated Improvement Team works with colleagues across our Trust on projects such as improving cancer waiting times, improving urgent and emergency care, improving efficiency in the use of operating theatres and clinic rooms, and reducing delays in patients' diagnoses.

Their aim is to inspire, support and create a culture that continuously improves and delivers quality care for our patients.

COVID-19 brought huge changes for the team, with many existing projects put on hold, and completely new projects urgently required to prepare the hospitals for the challenges ahead.

The team has been here for the Trust throughout our response, from working to support the 'Command and Control' structure that was implemented at the start, to helping Oxford Hospitals Charity, Trust staff and volunteers to deliver meals and gifts to front line healthcare workers on the wards.

Now the emphasis is changing yet again, as our hospitals adapt and develop services to function smoothly while we return to treating our patients - not 'business as usual', but a way to continue providing our services in an environment where patients and staff are protected from the risk of COVID-19.

The team is working with partners to try out new digital platforms that will enable patient consultations to continue without face to face contact, except where absolutely necessary.

Their own meetings, including Project Boards (meetings with services to discuss a project’s progress), Process Mapping (creating visual representations of processes to highlight potential issues) and training are now carried out on Microsoft Teams, sometimes reaching more people than a physical meeting would have been able to.

The work of the Integrated Improvement Team is very much based on relationship building, and team members feel better able to support their project teams by being more accessible online.

Throughout all this they have also been in regular contact with each other, and colleagues are always available on the phone or on Teams to offer each other support and encouragement.

Their efforts have not gone unnoticed - they have received some glowing feedback from our staff, describing them as 'fabulous' and praising their skills and hard work.

Even outside the Trust there has been recognition; a member of the public wound down a car window in a supermarket queue to say to one team member "Thank you for all you do for the NHS - keep up the good work"!

One team member says:

"It has been an unsettling time, with lots of changes to adjust to; but there are positive ideas and opportunities which have come out of this, which will improve things for patients.

"We are fortunate enough to be able to work remotely when we know a lot of our colleagues cannot, and we want to support them as much as possible."

"Since this crisis began, I have been in contact with far more people than before, which has led to relationships that otherwise would not have developed."

Sara Randall, OUH Chief Operating Officer, says:

"Improvement is a core value of our Trust, and we are very grateful for the Integrated Improvement Team and the valuable work they have been doing, despite the considerable challenges they have been facing.

"Finding new and better ways to serve our patients and their families is at the heart of excellent care."

Thank you all so much for what you do.

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