Evaluating the Connecting for Health programme in Birmingham

Fear of the unknown

Introducing new working practices and systems is a real challenge, especially when your workforce is unsure of the implications and uncertain whether the changes are merited or not.

Regaining faith in the consultation process

Staff at Eastern Birmingham Primary Care Trust were wary of change and unsure of the future when the Connecting for Health programme was introduced in 2006. They saw far too much emphasis on targets and not enough on patient-led service delivery. Staff described themselves as “change weary”, and while they were generally informed about change, few felt adequately consulted and many had lost trust in the consultation process.

Qa unveiled a research tool which would invigorate staff-management relations, allow staff to air their grievances, and promote the development of the Connecting for Health programme with the active consent and involvement of staff.

“Zing” is an innovative research tool featuring keyboards linked to a central hub. Individuals and teams contribute to discussions by typing their thoughts and watching ideas evolve on-screen. Plenary feedback and summary sessions combine with the team-based work to ensure ‘Rapid Knowledge Creation’.

Zing allows people to be much more open about their views and opinions and is particularly effective at ensuring that those less likely to speak out in a group situation have their say. The electronic data is also quickly downloaded into MS Word to become part of a larger report or a stand alone document.

Agreeing a platform for change

The “Zing workshops” brought staff together to discuss their concerns, generating new insights into their opinions and attitudes. Eastern Birmingham PCT has used this information to shape the implementation and development of Connecting for Health.

For more details e-mail paul.rhodes@qaresearch.co.uk or call 01904 632039