Posted on 8-June-2018   by Imogen Jones

Sharing brings workable ideas from the frontline

FABChangeWeek - header

Within the NHS, a system under pressure, it is a joy to find examples of how people can still come together and bring about change. In our “Best Healthcare Twitter Accounts to Follow” blog post, we highlighted @FabNHSStuff. I wanted to share one of their initiatives with you called: #FabChangeWeek

If you are a nurse, or work within the NHS in any capacity – hopefully you will have found out about this initiative, which launched in 2016. At first it was just a day, but today it has been extended to a week of fabulousness!

What is #FabChangeWeek?

This is a voluntary initiative run by the ‘Academy of Fabulous NHS Stuff’, a Community Interest Company, who now provide the infrastructure to collate the week’s ideas and pledges and help to turn them into action. It is a collaboration to ensure best practice examples, great ideas and service solutions are available to all.

It is really inspiring to see some real examples of how NHS frontline staff and organisational leaders see the value of supporting and participating in #FabChangeWeek to demonstrate their determination to liberate the talents, ideas and energy of their staff.

Here are some tweets I found for the 2017 campaign:

The results of collaboration and sharing ideas

I have just worked through the report on the outcomes from the initiative run in 2017 (released 25 Apr 18). I have to say I am quite moved to read the many testimonials and results reported on how the smallest ideas from frontline staff have made shifts in their working environments.

Basically how it works – is that thousands of NHS staff across the country sign #FabChangeWeek pledge cards to put their great ideas into action, and
Then, importantly, they promise to deliver on them.

Apparently during the 2017 week – more than 5,300 people tweeted using the hashtag #FabChangeWeek, sending almost 45,000 tweets. Participation reached as far as Canada and Australia!

The pledges were publicised around five themes:
– patient safety,
– patient experience,
– service improvements,
– staff well-being and
– the ‘FabFringe’ (which covered everything else)

Who came up with the idea?

#FabChangeWeek has grown out of the inspiration of the originators: ‘The Hubbies’. NHS front-line staff convinced the solution to so many of the NHS’ problems could be found by asking the people actually ‘doing the job’.

There are now more than 120 ‘FabAmbassadors’ – volunteers around the country who encourage colleagues to participate and provide practical advice.

What was great to also find out is that the initiative planned for 2018 will include documenting the personal and organisational benefits of participating in the initiative.

NHS staff instinctively know that feeling empowered, motivated and listened-to helps them provide better, safer care, and this is backed up by plenty of evidence. We spend a lot of time in hospitals and clinical environments to see this first hand.

One of my favourite testimonials in this report has to be from Lance McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex:

Lance McCarthy quote

“Our Quality Improvement Team were out and about dashing around for the whole of Fab Change week – they pretty much dropped everything else. They were full of life, full of beans, very persuasive, passionate about healthcare and passionate about Princess Alexandra. It really boosted morale.

You could see people walking around with smiles on their faces.”

Are you participating in #FabChangeWeek 2018? I’d love to know! We’d be pleased to help promote the initiative and also share any great stories from our customers who have pledged to take part. Let us know!

Imogen is the Product Manager for our SHARPSGUARD® range, and our Marketing Manager for the UK & Ireland.