Design thinking

Dr Fiona Lemmens at one of the design thinking workshops.

Shaping the future of leadership in ICSs

The Coaching Academy was proud to support the future of what “leadership” looks like for integrated care systems in Cheshire and Merseyside. The creation of a “clinical and care professional leadership framework” was a statutory requirement for all ICSs to submit to NHS England before 1 July 2022.

This framework will outline how all levels of integrated care system leadership will interact with each other across all aspects of health and care. It will include things like decision making, communication, learning and development, equity and diversity and more.

With the leadership framework impacting many people for years to come, the Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care Board didn’t want to create its framework in a “dark room”. They knew it would only be useful if it were shaped by as many clinical and care professionals as possible.

They were also keen to take an innovative consultation approach, which is where the Coaching Academy got involved. The Coaching Academy created a series of in-person ‘design thinking’ workshops, involving a carefully-selected cross section of leaders from various aspects of health and care, to ‘build’ the framework prototypes. At every step of the way the workshops were supplemented by consultation on an online collaboration platform called “Idea Drop” where any clinical and care professional in C&M could follow the process and provide feedback.

Dr Fiona Lemmens, Associate Medical Director for the Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care Board, says: “I was excited by the creativity from the Coaching Academy and their suggestion to use the ‘design thinking’ methodology toward creating the framework. Bringing a concept from the technology sector into healthcare was intriguing and innovative. Using online consultation through Idea Drop also opened up the design process to a much wider audience in a shorter timeframe than we have ever been able to do before. It has been so easy to engage and work with the Coaching Academy. They are full of energy, and ideas, and flexible in their approach to meet the national guidance and agreed project deliverables.”

Watch the video and read Head of the Coaching Academy Jen Kohan's blog on the framework development.

Safety culture improvement

This programme was previously referred to as Coaching for Culture. Read case studies from these cohorts:

Complex change and service redesign

Sam pilsworth, Cheshire and Merseyside’s pulmonary rehabilitation lead and consultant respiratory physiotherapist.

Supporting system-wide complex change

In the months before the pandemic, the Coaching Academy embarked on designing a complex change programme with the nine pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) services in Cheshire and Merseyside. The remit was that it be a 'radical redesign' to join up an oversubscribed service across an ICS. It would also have the potential to make significant positive impacts to patient outcomes and ease pressure on related services. Once the pandemic hit, this change programme was made more challenging with demand for PR services skyrocketing due to long-Covid patients. Despite this, the nine service representatives remained committed to the long-term vision of improving their service.

The Coaching Academy collaborated with the project team to use a number of innovative approaches for service redesign, including workforce analysis, digital mapping, change readiness, digital activation coaching and coaching for culture. Key discoveries included that the adoption of new technology into the service pathway would be critical to success. Another was that clinicians would need be empowered to have the confidence to improve and redesign their own services, and that all staff around them, including throughout all levels of management, would need to be receptive to new perspectives.

Sam Pilsworth, Cheshire and Merseyside’s PR Lead and Consultant Respiratory Physiotherapist, said: “Without the Innovation Agency we would not have got half as far. They have been brilliant. They co-ordinated sessions, supported us to co-design a new pathway, giving us space to think – which is something we don’t usually get in the NHS when we are so busy delivering services.

“It has given us the opportunity for everyone to have input so that we feel the pathway belongs to us. We have all had the chance to get involved in co-producing useful materials, including a new website called ‘Breathing Point’, a web-based portal for patients, carers and clinicians that provides information and signposting and offers a forum for online discussion.”

The project has now moved into the delivery phase and a similar project is now underway in Spring 2022 in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

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