Hitting the Always Events target

The Chief Nursing Officer for England shares an update on NHS England’s Always Events programme and celebrates the fact that 100 organisations are now using it to improve outcomes and experiences for patients and those we care for:

Co-production is a way of working that sees people who use services, their families and carers, being involved in helping design improvements to those services.

It builds on the principle that people who use a service are best placed to help design and improve it.

Always Events is a quality improvement methodology which uses co-production to improve their experience of care.  NHS England has been working with the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, the Picker Institute, Europe and NHS Improvement to help grow a community of organisations since the first pilot sites went live in 2015.

I am very pleased to announce that there are now over 100 organisations with senior support and commitment working with NHS England to co-design, test and implement Always Events, meaning that our target, as set out in the NHS Mandate 2017-18 has been met. This represents over 40% of all NHS trusts using the methodology to improve the experience of care of people who use their services.

We’ve seen some great examples of patients being involved in co-designing changes to improve their experiences of care; from flexible visiting, improved communication at discharge, to patients feeling involved in their care planning, through to service users being supported in moving on in care (transitions in care).

Always Events is effective in a vast range of settings such as maternity, children’s services, learning disability and mental health services, out-patients, acute inpatient wards, and community nursing.  Some examples include:

  • Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust have been working with people using their community nursing service to ensure that patients, relatives and carers are always involved in the planning and delivery of their care.
  • Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust has worked with people in a secure mental health setting to ensure that “My Voice Always Matters” encouraging feedback and timely responses.
  • Humber NHS foundation Trusts has worked with people in Townend Court Assessment and Treatment Unit for people with learning disabilities to ensure that patients on the unit are able to contact people who are important to them 24 hours a day.

The success of the Always Events work has clearly demonstrated that both patients and staff benefit from using co-production methodologies to improve services but we are not resting on our laurels.

A set of case studies and evaluation of the scale-up and spread of Always Events, undertaken by Picker Europe, will soon be added to the Toolkit and evaluation of the Pilot Programme available through the link below. In 2018-19 we are exploring how we can spread this approach into Primary Care.

We want this to become more of a social movement, spreading genuine partnerships with people who use our services to improve experience of care to all parts of the NHS. If your organisation is not already working in this way, get in touch with the Team, view more information, or watch this video about Always Events.

Jane Cummings

Professor Jane Cummings is the Chief Nursing Officer for England and Executive Director at NHS England.

Jane specialised in emergency care and has held a wide variety of roles across the NHS including Director of Commissioning, Director of Nursing and Deputy Chief Executive.

In February 2004, she became the national lead for emergency care agreeing and implementing the 98% operational standard. She has also worked as the nursing advisor for emergency care. In January 2005, she was appointed as the National Implementation Director for ‘Choice’ and ‘Choose and Book’.

Jane moved to NHS North West in November 2007 where she held executive responsibility for the professional leadership of nursing, quality, performance as well as QIPP, commissioning and for a time Deputy Chief Executive Officer. In October 2011, she was appointed to the role of Chief Nurse for the North of England SHA Cluster.

She was appointed as Chief Nursing Officer for England in March 2012 and started full time in June 2012. Jane is the professional lead for all nurses and midwives in England (with the exception of public health) and published the ‘6Cs’ and ‘Compassion in Practice’ in December 2012, followed by publishing the ‘Leading Change, Adding Value’ framework in May 2016.

Jane has executive oversight of maternity, patient experience, learning disability and, in January 2016, became executive lead for Patient and Public Participation.

She was awarded Doctorates by Edge Hill University and by Bucks New University, and she is a visiting professor at Kingston University and St George’s University, London.

She is also Director and trustee for Macmillan Cancer Support and a clinical Ambassador for the Over the Wall Children’s Charity where she volunteers as a nurse providing care for children affected by serious illnesses.

Follow Jane on Twitter: @JaneMCummings.

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