This article reflects the conversations in the breakout group on this topic at the Recently Appointed Consultants symposium on Monday 22 February 2016.


It is important to be aware of the methodologies that make for effective change. Being able to see how new ideas can benefit hospital care is hugely beneficial. However, it is important to know the best way to approach implementing new ideas in your place of work to ensure maximum benefit and to minimise unintended consequences.

To improve care through experience-based design, you must first understand how your organisation works and identify others who will be supportive. By understanding the experiences of others, both patients and staff can help support your case for improvement and support the design of the new way of working. Specific cases will help to drive the improvements in a way that is unique.

You must be clear on your objectives and the outcome measures that you want to see implemented into the systems. Writing a clear aim statement which describes the desired improvement and the timescale will focus minds and effort on achieving it. Do not spend too much time on activities that do not support the delivery of the aim statement. The pressures faced by clinical and managerial teams can also block change from being implemented; therefore, it is important to acknowledge these and to be aware of these factors when starting your project so that they can be addressed. Implementing significant change requires time which must be built into the programme. Understand and quantify the barriers to change so they can be addressed as part of the programme.

The data available to clinicians can be limited but there are often large amounts of useful data available in health and social care. Data analysts are often aware of important sources of information that can be incredibly useful. This can include patient information that can inform design of services.

Understanding how your development can fit into the wider care systems will also improve the chances of it being accepted. It is important to understand how the planned changes will interface with other parts of health and social care. This will help to maintain support from others.


Breakout Group Leader: Dr Vincent Connolly, Medical Director, Emergency Care Improvement Programme, James Cook University Hospital

Reviewed April 2018 & September 2021