SW AHSN's Spread Academy connects leaders to scale personalised care

SW AHSN’s Spread Academy connects leaders to scale personalised care

Health and care leaders developing personalised care for patients across the South West have collaborated to make large-scale change at an immersive training programme run by the South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN).  

Over 130 leaders came together at the Spread Academy, an initiative by the SW AHSN in partnership with NHS England and Improvement, and the renowned international social change agency, Billions Institute, designed to equip leaders in health and care with the skills they need to spread and scale ideas to make systematic change that improves our economy and patients’ lives.

The three-day residential experience, which took place at research hub Dartington Hall in Totnes, Devon, was attended by teams comprising delegates from local primary care networks, acute trusts, clinical commissioning groups, local authority, and the voluntary and community sector. Each team also included a person with first-hand experience of care.

The Spread Academy takes a unique approach to training leaders how to unleash large-scale change, working from the principle that successfully spreading an idea from few to many starts from within. Participants are encouraged to address their upbringing and personal values which shape the lens through which they see their work, before choosing their end game and setting compelling aims.

This month’s Spread Academy, the second to be run by the SW AHSN, focused on personalised care and was co-designed with NHS England’s personalised care lead, Frances Tippett. Teams brought a prototype for personalised care or used the academy to explore where they could start. Delegates were coached on scaling their ideas by Billions Institute co-founders and change practitioners Becky Margiotta and Joe McCannon, the duo behind the highly successful social movement, 100,000 Homes Campaign.

The week nurtured valuable connections between teams across the region. Staff at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust applied to the Spread Academy with local social landlord Teign Housing, to explore how living advisors could be change catalysts in the care of older and vulnerable adults.

“Good education and good health starts with good housing. We’re working together to change the way we deliver care for patients”, said Dave Crompton, programme support manager at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (pictured above).

Elsewhere in the room, connections were serendipitous. Phil Annal, change manager at Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust who is exploring the benefits of multi-disciplinary teams, met a team from NHS Kernow, the clinical commissioning group for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

“Multi-disciplinary teams could help us to deliver personalised care, but we need good evidence to demonstrate they work”, said Phil.

That evidence appeared to lie in an idea developed at the academy by NHS Kernow, to create stories of where personalised care works well.  “We are going to build 1,000 stories of how a personalised approach has improved health and wellbeing outcomes in Cornwall, by recruiting and training personalisation ‘architects’ to promote this approach to care”, says Jackie Horne, NHS Kernow’s personalisation lead (pictured below, right).

NHS Kernow and Cornwall Foundation Trust plan to continue their connection beyond the academy. “We had no idea what we were going to do when we arrived [at the Spread Academy]”, says Jackie. “Now we’ve decided to hold regular meetings between our two groups, to see if multi-disciplinary teams work well, and how we might replicate their success. Just two stories could change the way we all work”.
The Spread Academy is an initiative of the SW AHSN’s Innovation Exchange, an approach commissioned by the UK’s Office for Life Sciences to support the regional import and export of innovation in our region.
We launched our first Spread Academy in Spring 2019. To find out more about how the Spread Academy teaches leaders to unleash change click here or watch our video.

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