The Coffee Break 75

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



Firstly, this fortnight, Ben Fuchs a Senior Consultant in the Leadership and Organisation team within the Kings Fund talks about ‘advantage blindness’ a lack of self-awareness or blind spots that others can see. He goes on to explain that the more advantaged we are the less likely we are to understand the life experiences of people who are different. Within the NHS, he explains, that there is often less diversity in the higher paid clinical professional and senior management roles than in the workforce as a whole. “Advantage blindness from people in these positions can deter staff from speaking up, raising concerns and offering innovative ideas. This can affect patient safety, quality, staff engagement and well-being”.



Science Daily, this week looks at the work of engineers at the University of Leeds who have shown that “it is technically possible to guide a tiny robotic capsule inside the colon to take micro-ultrasound images”. The technique involves a series of magnets on a robotic arm that pass over a patient and interacts with a magnet inside the capsule or Sonopill, gently manoeuvring it through the colon. The feasibility study demonstrates that the Sonopill could replace the need for patients to undergo an endoscopic examination and could even be better able to identify some type of cell changes associated with cancer.

Moving on, the BBC have created a short video on how The Western Trust in County Fermanagh are tackling hospital recruitment difficulties by launching a mini medical school. The three-day project is designed to change perceptions and promote opportunities in an area that finds it difficult to attract doctors after they graduate.


Integrated Care Systems

NHS England announced that one in three people will benefit from faster and more convenient health care as three new areas were announced as integrated care systems (ICS). “ICSs are already helping people to stay healthy and independent for longer, giving more care closer to where they live and work, and improving response times and performance in areas such as cancer and A&E.



The reportDriving Improvement” published by the Care Quality Commission looks at case studies from eight independent hospitals. The study looks at the steps staff have taken and the effect of those actions on staff and patients. The report found that the common thread in these improvement journeys was a better approach to leadership, non-hierarchical cultures and staff engagement.

Finally this week, a blog post published by the Kings Fund looks at giving public service sector staff more control over their work and cultivating a positive belief to bring about change. In the post, the psychologist Chris Naylor, looks at the term ‘professional fatalism’ – “the notion that over time, confronted by complex or chronic problems that are not amenable to a simple solution, and working in systems that are often ill-equipped to support people with these can kinds of challenges, it can be hard for staff to hold onto the belief that better outcomes are possible”. Based on case studies and research Chris Naylor finds that there are three key features that can improve relationships, empower and increase positivity in the caring professions and the communities they serve.