The Coffee Break No 72

News updates this fortnight covers quality improvement, innovation, leadership and mental health. The coffee break is split into sections so you can easily scroll through each area of interest.

Quality Improvement

Firstly this fortnight we look at a quality improvement framework developed by the Public Health System Group in association with, amongst others, NHS England and NHS Improvement. The framework, ‘Quality in Public Health: A Shared Responsibility’, commits to an improvement in health outcomes in partnership with those who delivers the range of functions and services that protect, promote and improve the public’s health.


An article in the Harvard Business Review discusses the effect of gamification on health care improvement. A common feature of current gamification programs is goal-setting, for example taking 10,000 steps a day. However, this is probably over ambitious for many and not sufficiently ambitious for others. A 6 month trial of patients with heart disease showed that those patients who had been assigned a wearable device preset with 10,000 steps had no change in activity. In contrast, those patients who had been given personalized step goals increased their activity significantly, walking, in 6 monthys, about 100 miles more than the patients in the control group.

A senior nurse for infection, prevention and control at an NHS Foundation trust writes in the Guardian about how she and her colleagues have created a board game to educate staff about correctly managing and preventing diarrhoea amongst patients. The author explains how she took the game to her trust’s innovations team and in conjunction with Focus Games developed ‘The Poopology Game’. With copies of the game having been sold in the US and Australia the author hopes that every health care organization in the UK will eventually use it.


Moving on, NHS England are funding a £2 million programme to help 23 areas kick-start or boost leadership development activities in health systems across England. The programme builds on learning from five successful leadership models whose results have shown the importance of equipping individuals with the right skills necessary to drive change and identify new ways of working. Dom Hardy, NHS England said “As set out in the Long Term Plan, we want to nurture the next generation of NHS leaders by more systematically identifying, developing and supporting those with the capability and ambition to reach the most senior levels of the service.”

An article in looks at Leadership and ‘Joy at Work’. The article’s editor asks ‘Where does ensuring that your team members can experience joy in their work fall in your list of priorities?’ Although joy in work rarely appears on an organization’s strategic plan, addressing low engagement scores and improving performance outcomes often do. In the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Framework for Improving Joy in Work’ researchers found that joy incorporates a positive daily work life and leads to a high performance organization.

Mental Illness

Finally this week, the government has announced that £1.9 will be given to councils by Public Health England to improve the health of rough sleepers. The funding will be awarded to projects involving partnerships between local authorities and CCGs that are aimed at improving access to health services for people with mental ill-health and substance misuse problems. Rosanna O’Connor, Public Health England said “Without getting the vital help and support they need to look after their health problems, some of the most vulnerable people in our communities face a ‘revolving door’ situation where they are repeatedly in and out of stable accommodation, while their health deteriorates.”