First ‘Using Quality Improvement to Tackle Inequity’ workshop held in BLMK

<strong>First ‘Using Quality Improvement to Tackle Inequity’ workshop held in BLMK</strong> image

Home » First ‘Using Quality Improvement to Tackle Inequity’ workshop held in BLMK

A workshop on using quality improvement to tackle inequity was delivered for the first time in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes – a big step forward as part of Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership’s (BLMK HCP) commitment to tackling health inequalities.

Health inequalities are avoidable, unfair and systematic differences in health between different groups of people. They can involve differences in health status, such as life expectancy, access to care, wider determinants of health, and other differences.

For example, there are significant differences in healthy life expectancy across communities in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. In Central Bedfordshire, men can expect to live a healthy life nearly 9 years longer than in Luton – 67.9 years compared to 59.2 years.  

BLMK HCP’s Inequalities Programme aims to identify and take action against unfair differences, so that everyone in its communities has the best possible chance to live well for as long as possible. The programme has partnered with East London NHS Foundation Trust to deliver a Quality Improvement (QI) approach, a tried and tested method for making measurable improvements, to ensure that progress is being made towards that aim. 

Colleagues working across BLMK asked for a better understanding of the basics of QI and how to apply it to inequalities, and said they would like training to be as practical as possible to help them apply it to their work. This feedback led to the development of an exciting new workshop: ‘Using QI to Tackle Inequity’.

The Medicines Optimisation team (who improve the value of medicines in BLMK by ensuring clinical and cost effectiveness) was the first team identified to undertake the training, and they helped shape some of the workshop content to ensure the training was meaningful and tailored to their roles.

The first workshop was held over two half-days in November and December 2022, and its aims were to give people an understanding of: 

  • What inequality and equity are, and how they apply to people’s work; 
  • What Quality Improvement (QI) is, and the tools and techniques which are useful for tackling inequity; and 
  • How to use QI to tackle inequity in their work. 

As part of the workshop, the Medicines Optimisation team each wrote one action they commit to take to identify an equity issue. Some team members emerged with specific project ideas that they will develop, whilst others committed to use an equity lens and QI tools in their day-to-day work. Meanwhile, Fiona Garnett, Associate Director Medicines Optimisation, committed to following up with the team on their project ideas to ensure the team embedded what they had learned about tackling inequity.

The Medicines Optimisation Team each wrote one action they commit to take to identify an equity issue

Feedback from workshop participants was very positive with:

  • 100% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that they understood what inequality, equity and QI are
  • 86.7% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing they had gained an understanding of how to apply QI to tackle inequities in their work.
  • 94.1% of respondents agreeing that they had gained an understanding of how to apply QI to tackle inequities in their work, and
  • 94.7% of respondents saying they would recommend the training to a colleague. 

Other feedback from participants included:

  • “Very good session. Amazing achievement to cover so much, so clearly, in only two sessions.” 
  • “Much more enjoyable that I was expecting! Fantastic presenters and great content.”
  • “Very well presented and interactive. Well done!”
  • “Excellent presenters, and good energy in the room, thank you.”

Following the success of the first workshop, other teams will now have the opportunity to participate in future workshops to spread learning. This is a big step towards achieving the commitment to reduce inequalities in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.

If you would like your team to participate in a future workshop, or want to find out more about QI for Inequity, get in touch with Lorna Darknell, Improvement Advisor for Inequalities, at [email protected] 

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