What I learnt this week: You can make a little effort go a long way #WILTW

This is the 43rd #WILTW

The Nuffield trust have recently produced a report on “Whats behind the A&E crisis“. Something clearly not changing fast enough is the use of the term of Emergency Department rather than A&E but one of the key points is:

Many answers to the problems facing urgent care already exist. But the complexity of the system and the highly politicised nature of A&E have impeded progress. Problems will not be solved if policy-makers, political leaders and regulators continue to micro-manage A&E. With change so urgently needed, it is imperative that there is a cross-party consensus on how to move forward and that action is not postponed or delayed for political reasons.

There are many challenges in the NHS at present. Some are going to require long term policy and strategies to resolve which are clearly not in the remit of any one individual. In fact the problems facing the health system seem so great there is a temptation to fall into the trap that no-one can do anything about it at all. #NHSchangeday demonstrated there are many people keen and willing to get involved in bringing about improvement in their own localities. But it would be foolish to think that campaigns such as this are going to transform cultures or reduce deficits overnight. It is clearly important that this individual endeavour persists regardless of its cause.

Making those small challenges  is something that anyone can do. The simulation that we ran in the canteen of Leicester Hospital as part of a Change Day action came about, not because we had a clever piece of equipment, or that our emergency department is full of people with education certificates. It came about because of few of my colleagues have found the time to set in place a regular training programme.

Change Day Simulation

It’s not alway easy and there are times when things don’t go to plan. But the persistence of individuals finding a way to make things happen has resulted in an initiative risking being a fad becoming a fixture. It is starting to show results and we are hopeful after this public demonstration that other areas of the hospital will look at how they can bring simulation into their own work place.

No-one is going to change healthcare overnight. But there is still much that an individual can do to make a difference.

What have you learnt this week? #WILTW

(I am grateful to my consultant friends Gareth, Mark and Jonny for making in-situ simulation a reality in the Emergency Department. I am also massively appreciative of Amy, Rami and Paul for volunteering to take part in the live demo!)

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