Seven day services, seven tips and the unstoppable movement

Now that I’ve very nearly mastered twitter, I’ve been handed another challenge…write a blog! I used to keep a diary, and as a clinician I used a journal for reflective practice. So I will build on those principles to support my blog development – the only difference is that the blog is not kept in the bedside table draw under lock and key!
What are my “blog intentions”? I hear you ask. To share some key messages, learning and thoughts around seven day services….. Yes – seven day services not seven day working. Also to encourage others to take seven day services out of the too difficult box, because you know it makes sense and is the right thing to do for patients.
“Seven Day Services; the unstoppable movement” and Bruce Keogh’s No. 1 priority was the key messages at the recent NHS Improving Quality Conference in July. Where early adopter communities from across the country shared knowledge, learning and challenges as well as demonstrating their courage and boldness. The event was full of energy and a can-do attitude focused on ensuring equity in care for all regardless of the day of the week, because every day counts.
There is no silver bullet to the delivery of seven day services. It will take whole health and care communities, patients and the public to work together collaboratively. All pulling together in the same direction, taking the risks and sharing the successes. Keeping the focus on the patient will help to determined what, where and how services need to be seven days and the following seven tips may help.
1. Use a systematic approach to help you through tackling this challenge and seize the opportunities
2. Understand your baseline position – what happens currently
– “Don’t jump to solutions before you understand the real problem “
3. Engage, communicate, partner, network , align with the whole system – “You cannot achieve this alone”
4. Keep the focus on patients , safety, quality of care & outcomes
5. Don’t ignore the big challenges
6. Remember if you are not measuring– you are not improving and if you are only measuring you’re not improving, but measure and improve the right thing that adds value
7. Get the messages right – services not working. Share the learning. Think scale & pace
I have been in the NHS for over 38 years and see it has been critically important to do whatever action is necessary to deliver good care seven days a week, because it’s the right thing to do. So please join the “unstoppable movement”.
Dr Ann Driver.

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