Helen Satchell is Theatre Practice Educator in the Surgery, Theatres and Critical Care Directorate at Musgrove Park Hospital. Helen talks about how she has been addressing safety culture across their four Theatre Departments through participating in our Safer Culture, Better Care Programme.
Helen explains: “We took on quite an ambitious project, in that we did a SCORE Survey of over 500 staff! I would say that, with experience now, that this is probably quite a large number and in hindsight, it might have been better to do smaller groups as it’s taken about 12 months to carry out a significant amount of debriefs. That said, we have had a really positive experience of the process.
For the debriefs, we did a combination of level and mixed debriefs, mainly because it was quite challenging to get people together, and we used our Audit sessions which worked really well. We sat down with staff asking them questions, allowing them a safe space to express themselves. Just from doing this, we got a lot of feedback. The main message was that it was really good to get together in a room and talk. This alone was a benefit for us.
The picture we got from carrying out the SCORE Survey was what we expected. We surveyed all our theatres and the process has given us a true picture and concrete evidence that we have been able to take to the executive board, which has meant a lot of higher management buy into changes, which is great. The executive team have listened to what we think we need to be doing next, which has led us to look at Learning from Excellence (lfE), which we are about to start implementing.
Learning from Excellence will help us to address cultural issues – in particular, some of the biggest feedback from the survey was that staff felt that they got a lot of negative feedback (as they are obliged to report on incidents) but that no one ever says ‘well done’, feeds back positively or reflects on positive incidents. We are therefore going to do the LfE process and I really feel that this will help to boost staff morale, as we learn from positive practice.
The SCORE Survey has also helped changed our plans and accommodated lots of issues within theatres. For example, people have fed back that they don’t feel they had enough support from higher bandings in their area, as they had not been replaced when people have left, so we’ve addressed that and we are looking at little things all the time – it has really made us re-evaluate.
It’s also been really positive, as we’ve been meeting other trusts about good practice, I’ve been to Derriford Hospital and met with other trusts. It’s encouraged us to think outside our box, which is great!
From my perspective, this has very much been a positive experience and I think that staff will realise over a period of time that, because of areas highlighted by the survey, that some of the pressure points are starting to ease.”
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