Collaboration across healthcare communities: New relationships and alliances 

Our spring Collaborative Learning Event bought together over 100 attendees at St Paul’s Centre Hammersmith to explore how teams and individuals can change how they work to achieve collaborative working across health and care communities.

We asked what is needed for the new Integrated Care Systems to achieve effective collaborative working across boundaries and emphasised the role compassion and kindness have in supporting teams through change.

Our Collaborative Learning Events emphasie the social elements to learning and are open to healthcare professionals, carers, patients, academics, third sector and industry partners in Northwest London, who have an interest in translating evidence into practice and achieve improvements in population health and health behaviours.  

Improvement Leader Fellows  

The event kicked off with the on stage graduation of our 2022/2023 cohort of Improvement Leader Fellows

Our Fellowship programme develops future leaders in innovation and quality improvement and gives them the skills and experiences to advance long term sustainable improvements in their organisations. 

The Fellows presented their project posters during the breaks which gave them an opportunity to explain their projects and how they used the skills learnt as part of the Fellowship to progress and develop it. The commitment and dedication shown by the Fellow’s was acknowledged by our Director, Prof, Azeem Majeed as he presented their certificates.  

2022/2023 cohort of Improvement Leader Fellows
Image of Dr Dominique Allwood's keynote presentation

● Dr Dominique Allwood's keynote presentation

Compassion and kindness

The keynote presentation from Dr Dominique Allwood Chief Medical Officer (UCL Partners) and Director of Population Health (Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust), was titled ‘Collaboration for change: The role of compassion and kindness.’ The dynamic talk invited attendees to reflect on the purpose of their role within the healthcare system and asked them to reflect on if this purpose has been altered by ‘industrialised’ health care practices.

Dominique made the point that due to ever increasing pressures on staff and patients the adoption of industrialised processes, mindsets and language are both dehumanising and ineffective at enabling the delivery of high-quality person centred care. She argued that to improve patient and population outcomes there needs to be a clear mission that allowed for meaningful kindness and compassion. 

Dominque commented: "The importance of ensuring careful and kind care and compassionate leadership in our work, especially in how we collaborate more effectively, has never been so important. It was fantastic to be able to open the event and set the tone for the day."

Exploring networks  

Networks and how we navigate them are fundamental to the implementation of new ways of working, this idea was explored in an engaging and interactive Learning Lab led by Dr Rowan Myron, Education Lead NIHR ARC NWL. The session expanded on the theory of ‘6 degrees of separation’ and delegates created a live visual representation of the networks within the room. 

Rowan handed each table balls of wool and asked them to make a connection by tying the wool to someone they know and then asking them to do the same. Before long, the event space was filled with noise and excitement as delegates connected with one another and discovered they were more connected than they had first thought. 

Rowan commented: “I think people really enjoyed the social connection exercise, it really has stuck in people’s minds. I think it’s so important to really interact with each other now that we are able to be back in person, it’s such an important part of learning and collaborating for a better healthcare system”

Attendees at Collaboration Learning Event involved in networking workshop using yarn

Attendees discover the connected nature of networks

A deep dive with our research themes

The breakout sessions brought together NIHR NWL ARC research themes to explore how they have been working together across boundaries. 

Each session featured a pair of themes that illustrated recent projects where they have worked across the health and care system, and they explored the facilitators and challenges of this type of work. The research teams explained to delegates where there are new connections, the opportunities to work together across boundaries and where there are new horizons that can support integrated working.

The sessions included:

Multi-morbidity and Mental Health Theme / Digital Health Theme
Embedding digital health solutions in acute and primary care settings

The teams shared examples of evaluating digital solutions to health maintenance in acute and primary care settings, a consultation for maximising data collection in complex systems.

Information and Intelligence Theme / Child Population Health Theme
Using routine data to improve health in Northwest London: insights, opportunities, and challenges

Two studies, one led by each theme, showcased the valuable insights to gain from routine data to help inform public health policies and interventions that can improve patient outcomes.

Innovation and Evaluation Theme / Patient, Public, Community Engagement and Involvement Theme
Community-based research and practice: opportunities and challenges

The ICS (Intergrated Care System) Research Engagement Network Development (REND) project was dedicated to the delivery of health roadshows in Brent/Ealing and Hounslow. To help ‘bridge the gap’ between researchers and the local communities we recruited and trained members of the public to be Community Research Champions.

In this workshop the team involved shared the key issues and challenges as identified by the communities and explored how we can respond to those collectively as part of the ARC NWL infrastructure.

Ethnicity and Health Unit
Impact of the global climate crisis on mental health the rise of eco-anxiety in young people

The EHU exists to apply an evidence-based approach to addressing health inequalities. Co-Director Professor Rao stated that we need to give a greater voice to young people to advocate for change in climate and health policies. In this session, she explored facilitators and challenges to this type of work and how making new connections across borders and sectors can redefine the climate crisis and its impact on health. 

A stimulating panel discussion

Dr Fiona Moss, Theme Lead Collaborative Learning and Capacity Building, tied the multiple themes from the day together as she was joined on stage for a panel discussion by Dr Neville Purssell (GP, Cardiovascular & Renal Lead NHS NWL), Sandra Jayacodi (Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement), Dr Connie Junghans (GP and Public Health Specialist) and Dr Dominique Allwood (Chief Medical Officer & AHSN Deputy UCL Partners). In the lively discussion, the panel considered the new Integrated Care Systems' role and responded to audience questions about how best to deliver integrated care. 

Image of panel discussion

Remembering John Norton

The event ended in sombre reflective mood as we remembered long term ARC collaborator John Norton who sadly passed away in April. Prof Azeem Majeed and Ganesh Sathyamoorthy led the tributes highlighting his huge contribution to the ARC John made as a public partner and lay representative. His dedication to healthcare improvements and friendly character will be fondly remembered by the NIHR ARC NWL team.  

Highlights from Twitter

Collaborative Learning and Capacity Building logo

Associated research theme:

This event was delivered by our Collaborative Learning and Capacity Building Theme.  

The next Collaborative Learning Event will be held in Autumn 2023 and we hope you will join us for it. Details will be posted on our events page before the event.