Capabilities for Learning Organisations

Earlier this month, Jeremy Hunt called for the NHS to become the ‘world’s largest learning organisation’. Not only do successful learning organisations require the correct cultures, processes and resources, but they also require their staff to have the right skills, behaviours and development.

In September 2014, the Knowledge and Intelligence Team in NHS IQ developed two quick, fun, quizzes, to garner insight into the intelligence gathering and learning activities and behaviours of NHS staff. You are able to see the results collected so far by clicking on the images at the bottom of this post.

The results, whilst highlighting that cultural barriers to learning such as fear of scrutiny are still posing great threats to the NHS realising Jeremy Hunt’s ambition, it also shows there are currently gaps in the capability and behaviours of staff in regard to learning and intelligence gathering skills.

Learning, in the majority, is only shared within teams, with less than 30% of respondents claiming they update their lessons learned log for every project and only a slightly higher percentage completing lessons learned reports to share within their wider organisation.

These results are not surprising however, when considering that less than a quarter of respondents claim they already have access to the available guidance and tools to support them to build a learning organisation. It would appear that many within the NHS lack a consistent and efficient approach to how learning activities are carried out and facilitated.

Not all learning is carried out after a project or programme and intelligence gathering within the NHS appears to have much better traction. With this in mind however, the majority of respondents still look to Google as their first port of call for evidence to support their work, with less than 30% receiving regular updates via journal alerts and only 10% using RSS feeds.

These results, again, highlight inconsistencies across the board, highlighting the need for standardised training and education in relation to gathering and building a solid, reliable evidence base.

Considering the above, it’s clear that to achieve Jeremy Hunt’s 25 year vision, a great deal more needs to be done to equip those working in the NHS with the knowledge and skills to effectively support their organisation to continuously learn and as a result, continuously improve.

We’re hoping to expand on our current sample numbers and develop a better picture of how learning and evidence gathering are carried out in the NHS. If you would like to contribute to the insight already collected, you are able to take our quick quizzes by clicking on the links below:

Click on the images below to access the infographics for each quiz:

Infographic 1        Infographoc 2


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