Leonie Gregson, Communications Manager for the Integrated Care and Support Pioneers Programme and Kally Trahearn, Customer Relations Co-ordinator blog about their experience at this year’s International Forum for Quality and Safety in Healthcare, Paris.
It’s not every day you get to visit Paris in the springtime. And it’s even rarer to be offered the chance to do it while soaking up some really mind-expanding expertise from global thought leaders. So when we were invited to whizz over to the Palais des Congres to attend this year’s International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare to support NHS Improving Quality at their sessions, and tweet back so others could follow the event, we both jumped at the opportunity.
We immediately grabbed a crash course with Lynnette Leman, our digital comms guru, who introduced us to the fascinating world of storifying and tweet scheduling. Armed with our new arcane knowledge – along with a veritable arsenal of laptops, tablets, phones and a terrifying knot of intertwined cables and chargers – we were ready to embark on our aventure francaise.
The International Forum, organised by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the BMJ, brings together cutting-edge change leaders and health improvement experts in a bid to improve outcomes for patients and communities worldwide. This year’s event was attended by an impressive 3,000 guests from 75 countries. Alongside the usual ampitheater-filling keynote speeches there was a wide and varied range of site visits, posters, plenaries, breakfast sessions and lunchtime events with sandwiches and couscous (tasty, though we searched in vain for the crusty baguettes, fois gras and grand vins du Bordeaux…).
The days were long with early starts and late finishes, and by the end our thumbs were sore from tweeting about all kinds of fascinating topics by presenters from across the world – including speakers from NHS Improving Quality (Helen Bevan, Catherine Blackaby, Michelle Barclay, Kathy Elliott and Hilary Walker) helping to raise our profile to a global audience.
NHS Improving Quality had a strong social media profile at the event. Helen Bevan received the highest number of Twitter mentions at the Forum, second only to the organisers themselves, and NHS Improving Quality was the only organisation to make the top ten!
Here’s just a flavour of what we saw …
NHS Improving Quality’s poster highlighted the successful #stopthepressure campaign led by student nurses to reduce pressure ulcers.
Catherine Blackaby led a breakfast session on how the Integrated Care and Support Pioneers programme is supporting localities to create, capture and spread innovation in integrated care, by harnessing social networking and open innovation.
NHS Improving Quality’s Helen Bevan was one of the conference’s stars with various sessions on the programme. In Transformational themes that will shake the world of healthcare improvement, Helen urged us all to be change rebels, and argued that increasingly, the power to effect change is about a person’s connectedness rather than their position in the hierarchy. Read the storify from this session here.
Innovative approaches to post-stroke rehabilitation at Sainte Marie Hospital Foundation, with swimming therapy and state-of-the-art exercise equipment, including an amazing gait therapy device which allows people to exercise in a virtual reality environment with audio and visual feedback.
Some of the amazing work of artist William Utermohlen, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1996 but kept painting for a further 12 years, documenting his gradual decline. His work gives a rare insight into the mind of a person coping with the increasing ravages of the disease.
“Let’s make our day harder!” – a brilliant film clip from Dr Mike Evans about the benefits of building small, incremental amounts of exercise into the day.
In perhaps one of the most electrifying presentations of the whole four days, Professor Don Berwick cited evidence of direct links between performing kind acts and measurable changes in the human brain. Describing examples of the ‘placebo effect’ where the strength of belief has led to impressive levels of pain relief, he argued that the mind is more powerful than we realise, and we should harness that power – as professionals and individuals alike – to build resilience and reduce pain.
Tune in next time when Kally shares her further Forum Tales!