We’re at war with Covid-19. Leaders across the globe have hunkered down and we’ve been driven into our foxholes. For the brave, those who are fighting the front line, risking their own to deliver essential services, nurses, doctors, scientists, support staff and captains getting the supplies to the troops the language tells all. The Tactical Command Units and Incident Rooms are buzzing, steeled against the next wave of attack.
In the midst of the media chaos however there sits something that has always helped us keep our head. The determination to innovate and deliver, often in the face of incredible challenge. The instinct of our medics and carers to deliver excellence and quality whatever the circumstances. The unshakable ability to keep going when the pressure is truly on and yet, much like the troops returning from the battlefield, weary, war torn and with their own battles to fight, our health and care professionals will be returning to the daily battle that is played out in clinics, theatres, labs, hospitals and homes across the country.
How do we ensure that we make that transition and maintain all the values that have defined NHS and care providers?
If you can’t measure it…
While national benchmarks are useful, the real measurement must come from a local perspective. What works in Walthamstow doesn’t necessarily fit in the Wirral. Dagenham with Derby, Liverpool with Lewes… you see where I’m going! Having spent my winters bracing the cold in the company of District Nurses on the Yorkshire moors, or the green hills of Ireland, getting stuck behind tractors and wishing Aer Rianta had a ‘welly’ allowance, you get a real flavor of the local difficulties facing those at the front line. Sweltering summers spent in theatres, where the chances of finding scrubs, let alone scrubs that fit can be perplexing before one even steps onto the suite floor. Understanding what is happening here, on this day and for the days to come, and taking the measurement from that point not only provides us with a factual representation, but assures those we’re supporting that we’re taking into account what happens over the seasons, under these circumstances, and that however minor some of the points may seem, that we understand.
You’re not telling us anything we don’t already know…
All too often, managers under daily pressure to achieve targets, fill vacancies and support their teams to deliver the best possible service to patients are offered ‘solutions’ in the form of advice as to where they’re failing. These are professionals who spend their working days living and breathing the challenges of their departments and working through solutions, as well as planning for the changing landscape ahead. What is needed, is the support of sage advisors who not only come armed with the tools, skills and experience to hit the ground running, but are ready to get their sleeves rolled up and engage with the management team around the daily grind and future planning. Only then will we be able to work in true partnership, and plan for a ‘demob’ that offers to take the pressure off.
Neil Taylor, Meridian Productivity